A NEW student fashion award, which has been launched by the family of a former Rotary Club of Dudley president, has been won for the first time.

The Roy Pedley Award was created in memory of Roy Pedley – a popular Rotarian, local magistrate and widely respected textiles expert who passed away in May 2017, age 89.

The award, which has been won by former Dudley College student Jessica Ashton-John, aims to showcase the brightest and most talented fashion, design and textile students in the area.

To win the award, and a £500 bursary, the 18-year-old impressed judges with her fashion designs and knowledge.

Roy’s son Andrew Pedley, said: “Dad was hugely popular across the Black Country but especially in Dudley and Tipton where he did so much for charity and for young people.

"Alongside his community work and his role as a magistrate, he also had a long and distinguished career in the textiles industry.

"He was a distinguished voice and passed on his knowledge to the younger generation, helping and encouraging their development."

He continued: “Dad sadly died in May 2017 but as a family we were determined to leave a legacy – something to inspire young people in the textiles industry.

"The award, which we developed closely with Dudley College and the Rotary Club of Dudley, is therefore the perfect tribute. We’re delighted to see Jessica as the first winner.”

Jessica, who will use the cash prize to help her through her first year at Cardiff Metropolitan University, where she is studying fashion, added: “It’s a big honour for me to be the first winner of the award.

"I didn’t know Roy but do know how much of an inspiration he’s been to people over the years.

"It’s a really proud moment and the bursary will help me to keep learning in an industry which I love.”

The award was presented to Jessica during the club's annual Youth Services evening on October 1 at The Lodge in Wellington Road, Dudley