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February 7, 2019

Caring Millie comes to aid of shopper who fell, then finds herself defending her school

A TEENAGER who rushed to the aid of an elderly shopper who had fallen was then subjected to criticism about her school.

Millie Hardiker, 15, is Head Girl at Fearns and was helping her mum out by getting some shopping from Morrison’s in Bacup.

She said: “As I was walking back to the car, I saw an elderly woman had fallen and was on the floor, her shopping bags had split spilling the contents.

“I couldn’t believe that so many people just walked past her. I rushed to help her up and asked if she was all right.

“I collected up her shopping off the road and I ran back to Morrison’s, paid for some more bags and repacked everything.

“I kept asking if she was okay and if she wanted me to get someone, but she didn’t. I helped her to her car and put the bags in then this older man said, ‘You don’t get many kids from Fearns doing that.’”

Rather than ignore the comment, Millie said: “I told him if he wasn’t so quick to judge pupils from my school, he would realise that most of the pupils would do just what I had done.

“He then started criticising my school’s Ofsted and so I pointed out that the school is improving and although it isn’t perfect I told him the pupils are happy and do not want to go to another school.”

Millie said the man then accused pupils of ‘being tight’. She said: “I explained how I had been involved with the Youth Enterprise Challenge raising money for Rossendale Hospice and how we hold a Macmillan Coffee Day each year.

“He then started criticising staff saying they were not permanent so I suggested he come into Fearns and see just how much the staff care about our development and how they know each individual pupil.

“He kept trying to counter everything I said, but at the end of the day he had no arguments left.”

The incident, and the ensuing conversion, was witnessed by a passerby who emailed school praising the actions of Millie in helping the lady while others walked past and her determination to stand up for her school.

In her letter the passerby says: “What I saw from this young lady was unbelievable.”

Describing the man’s comment as ‘unnecessary’, the passerby continues: “She held her own and stood up for what she believed in and her school. Not many teenagers these days are this kind hearted, strong willed and dedicated.

“She was the only person to assist this lady after a few people had walked past. She has really lifted my expectations and perception of Fearns.”

* It is not the first time Millie has stepped in to help others, after Prefect Training at Bacup Cricket Club she spotted an elderly man struggling to carry heavy shopping bags up a steep hill, she offered to assist and carried the bags to his house.