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Reporter wins award in memory of young trainee

A trainee reporter has won an annual award handed out in memory of a young journalist who died aged 23.

Kirsty James has been named the most promising trainee reporter at Newsquest Somerset and was presented with the Leanne Gibbons Memorial Award.

The award was created in memory of Leanne Gibbons, a trainee reporter at the Somerset County Gazette who died in 2005 after developing pancreatitis.

Kirsty, 23, has worked for Newsquest since 2011 and does most of her work for the Bridgwater Mercury.

Cedric and Lesley Gibbons, left, present Kirsty with the award in memory of their daughter, along with Newsquest Somerset editor Alex Cameron.

She said: “I feel very honoured to have received the award. I enjoy working for the Mercury and it’s humbling to receive recognition for doing my job.”

The award was developed by Leanne’s parents Cedric and Lesley, who decided they wanted their daughter’s memory to live on.

Leanne died in Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital in July 2005 after she was taken ill in April.

Her death stunned colleagues at the County Gazette where she had worked since September 2003.

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  • February 21, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Very fond memories of Leanne. An excellent shorthand student here at Darlington College. It is great to see her memory living on and young reporters being inspired by her. She was a beautiful girl in many ways.

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