Cramlington student plans a lifetime of helping people

The next stage of Cramlington Learning Village student Iona Roberts’ mission to make a difference began in earnest this week. 

The 16-year-old, who lives in the town, has started studying for A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths less than two weeks after discovering she had achieved nine top mark Grade 9s in her GCSEs.

As well as putting in the hard work and hours for her exams, somehow Iona had also found time to support her local community. After school she is a young leader with Rainbows – the youngest Girl Guides – and a volunteer for The Toby Henderson Trust in Bedlington, supporting young people with Autism. “It gives their parents a little bit of respite and we run sessions for the children in a safe space.”

In fact, Iona plans to spend a lifetime helping people.  “I’ve been interested in science – particularly biology – from a young age and for a few years have thinking about a doctor,” she said.

That ambition grew during the COVID pandemic when the dedication and bravery of NHS became so apparent. “I think it showed the importance of the medical profession and the difference it makes.  It just made me want to be a part of it even more,” said Iona.

For work experience she spent a week in the specialist Cardiology Ward

And last year she approached The Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington asking whether she could do work experience there.

The hospital agreed and Iona spent a week in the specialist Cardiology Ward, watching the doctors and nursing staff help their patients.

“They were a little bit surprised at how young I was but they were very welcoming,” she said.

“It was great to be able to see their work close up: taking tests and scans, carrying out observations and being allowed to listen in on doctor/patient consultations. I hope I can do it again and I’d love to explore other areas.”

Ken Brechin, Deputy Headteacher of Cramlington Learning Village said: “Iona is a credit to herself, her family and her school.  Her outstanding GCSE results were a result of her hard work, intelligence and ability to master a range of subjects from Science to Spanish.

“Her roles in the community and her determination to help people demonstrate the personal qualities we have seen throughout her time at the school.  We look forward to the next two years with Iona as she takes the next steps towards achieving her ambition – and we have no doubt she will succeed.”