Pilton student hands in substantial amount of cash found on school bus

A BRATTON Fleming schoolgirl has been hailed for an “outstanding” act of honesty by local police.

When 14-year-old Shelby Gregory, discovered a wallet containing £150 on her morning school bus her first thought was to hand it in to teachers on her arrival at Pilton Community College.

The purse had been left behind by a young student from Bulgaria and also contained important documents relating to her stay with the Barnstaple-based Sol language school.

Following investigations by police, the purse was subsequently reunited with the young student and the Barnstaple neighbourhood beat team have since awarded Shelby a Good Citizen’s Award.

PCSO Gareth Woolway, who presented the award at a school assembly, said: “This was an outstanding example of good citizenship.

“A lot of other young people in the same situation would not take the same action that Shelby did.

“She has shown her age generation in a good light and has really set an example of what we would expect local young people to be like.”

Mum Leah Gregory said she was proud that her daughter had decided to do the right thing.

“Some of her friends on the bus said to keep it but she handed it into school and thought no more about it,” said Mrs Gregory.

“I’m very proud of her; it’s nice to think I’ve taught her something.”

Pilton Community College principal Louise Miller-Marshall said: “We are extremely proud of Shelby and delighted that she displayed the level of integrity that we expect of students at Pilton.

“We are delighted that she is turning out to be such a model young citizen.”

Grenville Yeo, executive director at Sol, which arranges North Devon visits for around 2,000 foreign students a year, said news of the money being returned will have been spread widely in Bulgaria, reflecting on a general honesty of the British people.

“This good deed has done more than just make one girl happy and relieved, and we should all be proud of what Shelby has done,” he said

Mr Yeo said £150 represented the average monthly salary in Bulgaria, where the cost of living is now very similar to that in Britain.

“We know that the vast majority of the students that come to us from that part of Europe cannot possibly afford to come to England.

“Those that do are either from the relatively better off families or their relatives – grandparents especially – will have given the student a lot of their savings to come, knowing what a valuable experience it is for them to gain confidence in using English in real situations.”