The Child of Wales Awards boasted inspirational winners from teenage sisters who raised over £120,000 to help fight leukemia in honour of their late brother to a youngster who became the first person in Europe to perform a wheelchair backflip.
And now, the UK has been given its own event dedicated to celebrating the incredible achievements of our nation’s youngsters.
The Child of Britain Awards 2022 will reveal some of the remarkable moments of personal courage, bravery, sporting and creative achievements children across the UK have achieved.
It will also recognise youngsters who help others through its 13 award categories – highlighting those that champion causes in their communities, protect the environment, fundraise and care for others.
The inaugural event – which is partnered with I Saw It First – will also raise funds that will be used to provide much-needed support to children’s charities across the UK.
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The Child of Britain Awards 2022 will reveal some of the remarkable moments of personal courage, bravery, sporting and creative achievements children across the UK have achieved
The Child of Wales Awards boasted inspirational winners including teenage sisters who raised over £120,000 to help fight leukemia in honour of their late brother (pictured together)
Another winner included a youngster (pictured) who became the first person in Europe to perform a wheelchair backflip
Hundreds of nominations as well as support from celebrities and communities across the UK have already flooded in.
The Child of Britain Awards 2022 follows the success of the Child of Wales Awards in 2020, when a group of remarkable young people were invited to Downing Street, attracting national attention and the support of famous faces including Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The event grew into the Child of Britain, Child of Scotland and Child of Ireland Awards thanks to the overwhelming support in Wales.
Showing the calibre of those given the awards, winners last year included Holly, 14, and Emily Walker, 12, who came out top in the Young Fundraiser category.
The sisters sadly lost their brother Tom to Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in June 2018 when he was just 13 years old.
Showing the calibre of those given the awards, winners last year included sister (pictured) Holly, 14, and Emily Walker, 12, who came out top in the Young Fundraiser category
Since then, Holly and Emily have raised more than £120,000 in his memory for Cancer Research Wales.
One fundraising event, called ‘Swim for Tom’, saw over 600 swimmers swim a combined total of 39,000 lengths and raise more than £25,000.
Tom’s family have also raised funds for a scholarship for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia research.
Speaking about their achievement, they said: ‘I think he would say that he was proud that we’ve spread awareness, and proud that we’ve kept his memory alive.’
Their mother Debbie added: ‘They’ve been through one of the worst things to ever happen to them, and they’ve just coped with it incredibly well.
Their mother Debbie (pictured left) said: ‘They’ve been through one of the worst things to ever happen to them, and they’ve just coped with it incredibly well’
‘We certainly wouldn’t be in the position that we are, I don’t think, without them. It is their strength that has given us strength to keep going.’
Elsewhere, teenager Lily Rice was given the award for Young Sporting Hero for her achievements in Wheelchair Motocross; she was the Woman’s WCMX World Champion in 2019.
Six months after she started participating in the sport, Lily, who has Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), became the first person in Europe and the youngest person ever to perform a wheelchair backflip.
HSP is the general term for a group of rare inherited disorders that cause weakness and stiffness in the leg muscles.
Elsewhere, teenager Lily Rice (pictured) was given the award for Young Sporting Hero for her achievements in Wheelchair Motocross; she was the Woman’s WCMX World Champion in 2019
Lily said: ‘It’s basically riding a wheelchair on a skate park and as soon as I started riding on it I just got completely hooked.
‘I’m the second girl in the world to land a backflip on a wheelchair and the first and youngest in Europe to do so. I’m also leading this sport in the UK and introducing it to as many people as I can each day.’
Mark, Lily’s father, said: ‘Internationally, she’s seen as one of the influencers that show, “actually you know we can be cool and we can do this”.’
Speaking about her condition, Lily added: ‘It basically affects the muscles in my lower body so especially in my legs. They’re very weak and my muscles are very tight.’
Her father continued: ‘For Lily, HSP is a progressive condition, that’s the other thing that’s quite kind of upsetting about it that, you know, as she gets older the condition is going to get worse.’
Six months after she started participating in the sport, Lily (pictured), who has Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), became the first person in Europe and the youngest person ever to perform a wheelchair backflip
Before Lily started riding (pictured), she said she wasn’t very confident and ‘didn’t like’ that she had a disability
Before Lily started riding, she said she wasn’t very confident and ‘didn’t like’ that she had a disability.
‘I didn’t want to be known as the disabled kid,’ she admitted. ‘I didn’t want to use my wheelchair.
‘But once I started riding, it gave me a lot more confidence. I started to love my wheelchair. I started to go out in my wheelchair more, I became a lot more confident in myself as well.
‘I started to realise that I shouldn’t hide my disability, it makes me who I am. It makes me unique and I should embrace that.’
Co-founder of the Child of Britain Awards, Blanche Sainsbury, said: ‘These truly remarkable awards tell of awe-inspiring and achievements by children across Britain. They are stories that need to be told.
‘The evening will undoubtedly be emotional, inspirational and unforgettable for everyone involved and I’m absolutely delighted I Saw It First will be there to share such a moving experience.
‘They are the perfect fit for a partner and share our values of kindness, giving back and leaving a legacy for our nation’s children.’
What is acute myeloid leukaemia?
Acute myeloid leukaemia is an aggressive and rare form of blood cancer.
The symptoms of AML usually develop over a few weeks and become more severe.
- Pale Skin
- Frequent infections
- Unusual and frequent bleeding – including the gums and nosebleeds
In advanced cases, patients are incredibly vulnerable to life-threatening infections and internal bleeding.
If a GP suspects leukaemia, they will arrange a blood test to determine blood cell production.
In AML, stem cells within the patient’s bone marrow produce too many immature white blood cells, which are not capable of fighting infection.
This also can lead to a decrease in production of the oxygen-carrying red blood cells and platelets that help the blood to clot.
Each year around 2,600 people in the UK are diagnosed with blood cancer.
After diagnosis, patients need urgent chemotherapy due to the aggressive nature of the cancer.
In some cases, radiotherapy may be needed along with a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.
Source: NHS Choices
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