Second school journalism centre named after Jill Dando unveiled in Worle

PUBLISHED: 08:00 03 March 2018

Lord Archer and Nigel Dando with students at the opening of the Jill Dando Centre at Priory Community School, Worle.

Lord Archer and Nigel Dando with students at the opening of the Jill Dando Centre at Priory Community School, Worle.

Archant

A journalism centre named after Weston television presenter Jill Dando has opened at another secondary school.

Lord Jeffrey Archer and Nigel Dando with students at the opening of the Jill Dando Centre at Priory Community School, Worle. Lord Jeffrey Archer and Nigel Dando with students at the opening of the Jill Dando Centre at Priory Community School, Worle.

The Jill Dando News Centre was launched in Worle to give students the chance to tell positive stories about their peers, boost literacy skills and teach them about journalism.

Jill, who started her reporting career at the Mercury and was murdered in 1999, was the inspiration for the scheme, and the first centre opened at Worle Community School in October.

While the project was also underway at nearby Priory Community Centre, in Queensway, the students did not have a base until this week. The Priory news centre was opened on Saturday by Jeffrey Archer, who went to school in Weston, and Jill’s brother Nigel Dando.

Lord Archer said: “Jill was incredibly beautiful, gentle and kind and also very professional.

Lord Archer talking with students at the opening of the Jill Dando Centre at Priory Community School, Worle. Lord Archer talking with students at the opening of the Jill Dando Centre at Priory Community School, Worle.

“She was a very fine lady with a wonderful career ahead of her, and it touches me she hasn’t been forgotten and so many people are here today to remember this great lady, because she deserves remembering. She was very special indeed.”

MORE: Jill Dando News Centre launches at Worle Community School.

Mr Dando, who retired from BBC Radio Bristol last year, is one of those training the young student journalists, along with reporters from the Mercury.

Mr Dando said: “I’m proud this is the second centre named after my sister.

Lord Archer being interviewed by students at the opening of the Jill Dando Centre at Priory Community School, Worle. Lord Archer being interviewed by students at the opening of the Jill Dando Centre at Priory Community School, Worle.

“I’m sure Jill would have been proud too of all the work which has gone into this and the fact her legacy in news and journalism, and the fact she started her journalism in Weston, lives on.

“A lot of success will come from this.”

Community group Big Worle, Pabalum Catering, Gould Signs and design business Pace helped with sponsorship, or by providing the signs and posters.

Neville Coles, executive principal of The Priory Learning Trust, said: “The world needs good news more than ever before.

“That’s what the Jill Dando News Centre is all about.

“Our students are fantastic and this let’s the community and the world know about them.

“This bring’s Jill’s memory alive through the successes, stories and acts of kindness and bravery of thousands of students.”

Priory principal Jane McBride is also thrilled to have the centre.

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