Seven young people have been recognised in the Rotary Club’s annual Children of Courage Awards.
The ceremony was staged by Sleaford Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of Sleaford Kesteven at North Kesteven District Council’s chambers, with trophies and certificates being handed out to the seven nominees jointly by Mayor of Sleaford Grenville Jackson, chairman of NKDC Geoff Hazelwood, the President of the Rotary Club of Sleaford Kesteven John Janickyj and the President of the Rotary Club of Sleaford Susan Waring.
The awards look at all forms of bravery, including courage to overcome the day to day obstacles of life in spite of mental and physical impairments, family situations and challenging circumstances.
Susan Waring said: “We are proud to recognise young people who have gone through difficulties and come out the other side and honour those who have helped those young people to achieve.”
Isabella King, a blind student from Donington, who moves freely around St George’s Academy, Ruskington, using her cane is also a master of the short forms of braille.
She is also working towards grade six in piano, performing in front of large audiences at venues such as St Martin in the Fields in London and the Birmingham Royal Conservatoire music festival.
She said she was very proud to receive her award.
Benjamin Sladen, 13, from Digby, attends St George’s Academy,Ruskington and has Tetralogy of Fallot - a condition of several congential heart defects and he is asthmatic. He had corrective surgery at six months and faces further surgery, limiting his actvity and he is vulnerable to illness, however Ben and his family have raised over £6,000 for the charity associated with Glenfield Hospital in Leicester where he is a patient.
Commenting he said: “I would never have thought to get an award like this.”
Crystal Stasiak of St George’s Academy in Sleaford was described as a hard working student and role model, but was injured and lost her friend, Eliza Bill, in a road collision at Osbournby last year.
Her citation says: “The courage, strength and determination she has shown in overcoming this tragic event and supporting others is truly humbling.”
St George’s student Jack Spencer was commended for settling into a new home since facing challenging family circumstances and channeling his positive behaviour into football for his school team.
Ella, who we cannot name fully, was diganosed with a rare metabolic disease which has to be carefully controlled with strict diet and medication. Despite this she was said by teacher Kate Hopkins of Kesteven and Sleaford High School as showing sheer resilience and courage in socialising, sport and pushing herself to achieve academically.
There were also two students of the Pilgrim Hospital School, which until recently was based in Sleaford. Autistic Jemma Whiteside was referred from mainstream school, suffered anxieties and lost a close friend to cancer, leading to her developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She has also coped positively with her father returning from military deployment on medical grounds.
Fellow student Brandon Edwards, from Crowland, learns with a tutor at home having lost his eyesight from a head injury while playing football in a goalmouth incident. His learning new skills and ways to cope have been described as ‘inspirational’.