Six children who have overcome huge personal challenges have been recognised at a special awards ceremony.
The youngsters all won an Inspirational Young Person – Overcoming Adversity Award at a Celebrate MK Education 2018 event held in MK. Awards were also presented to individual teachers and school support staff.
The winners were all visited by MK Mayor Martin Petchey or Cllr Zoe Nolan, the cabinet member responsible for children and families.
Cllr Nolan said: “It is a real privilege in this role to meet these inspirational children who have overcome so much and to speak to their families. I was delighted to present them with these awards to recognise their amazing achievements in overcoming adversity. They are all amazing.
The following includes the children’s heartrending – but ultimately uplifting stories:
Wood End First School
Nominated by: Claire Wilson, headteacher
Winner: Jeremy Osei
One day Jeremy , 7, went home from school feeling unwell and within a week he was in Birmingham Children’s hospital. Sadly the MK youngster lost both legs and an arm to meningitis.
However, Jeremy is the most determined and independent child you could hope to meet – he is a delight to teach and inspires the teachers and students on a daily basis.
While he was in hospital he passed the Year 1 phonics screening check and all the hospital staff were amazed at Jeremy’s commitment and dedication to his learning.
Staff, parents and fellow pupils have been so inspired by his bravery and dedication that they raised money to create a Spiderman mural in his honour.
Middleton Primary School
Nominated by: Rachel Roberts, headteacher
Winner: Noah Howard
Noah,8,has Neurofibromatosis type 1 and he could become very poorly very suddenly. However, Noah is independent and keen to get on with his learning.
Whilst Noah is aware of his condition and the seriousness of it, it doesn’t hold him back. He joins in with everything and is the first to volunteer for most things.
Noah makes friends wherever he goes. He loves school and he has developed close bonds with all of his teachers. They all say that they have learnt more from Noah about being resilient and positive than they could possibly have taught him. His headteacher, Rachel Roberts, has said that he is the bravest and most inspirational person she has ever met – and that the school is better because of Noah.
Long Meadow School
Nominated by: David Morley, deputy headteacher
Winner: Devina Bhikha
Devina, 8, has faced many physical difficulties in her life, due to her cerebral palsy condition.
However, in typical Devina style, she works tirelessly on a very challenging daily physiotherapy programme to achieve goals which sometimes seem impossible.
Whatever adversity Devina comes up against she will always start with her award-winning smile, which lets you know that she is going to achieve whatever it is she has set out to overcome. This has resulted in her being able to walk unaided and take part in a wide range of physical activities that nobody thought that she would be capable of.
On a recent school residential trip Devina completed all of the adventurous activities that her friends did: she climbed a climbing wall; took part in an archery competition; and paddled in a canoe. An incredible achievement.
Seeing Devina take part in a tug of war contest at a recent school sports day was also quite unbelievable!
Tickford Park School
Nominated by: Sally Ahmad, headteacher
Winner: Jasper Swynnerton
Jasper, 11, has Crouzon Syndrome which affects the growth of his skull. However he has shown such courage, perseverance, determination and resilience not just through his operation but for never letting his syndrome affect him.
He is a delightful young man – he works hard, is kind and thoughtful, is well liked and has a strong and positive self-identity.
We have been told that Jasper has been such a positive role model for everyone in school – showing that looking different should never stop you being who you are, or seeking to achieve your dreams and goals.
He has been honest and open about his syndrome, the surgery and his recovery. He is an inspiration to us all.
Tickford Park School
Nominated by: Sally Ahmad, headteacher
Winner: Eden Hayward
Eden, 5, has a condition called Arthrogryposis Multiplexed Congenita, this means she had weak muscles and mis-shapen, stiff joints.
Eden has been nominated for the award because she is a determined, independent in thought and strong willed – she has an ‘I can’ attitude and is actively involved in all school activities.
Eden is a valued member of the school – she is a lovely friend, very popular and a positive role model. Despite her challenges, she inspires other children (If Eden can try then so can I), she enjoys school, has a very strong character and continually perseveres in all activities. Every day Eden overcomes adversity – she has to battle her disability, overcome obstacles (physical and mental) and continually cope with being different.
Nominated by: Sally Cass
Winner: James Fenwick
When James, 17, was in Year 11, he sustained an injury during a PE lesson at school – he was taken to hospital where the injury developed into a spinal stroke. This is a very rare, life-changing injury and James is now a wheelchair user.
James is a quiet student who works hard, and never complains. He manages his condition with dignity and never lets it affect his attendance and work rate at school.
James is a superb role model for all other students at school. It would have been very easy for him to give up, but he is intending to go to university in the future to continue his studies. James also plays lots of sport, including wheelchair rugby for the Stoke Mandeville Maulers. which he really enjoys. In order to play, he and his family are raising money for a custom made wheelchair costing around £8,000.