The winners with family, Rotary district governor David Kendrick, left, and Boston Mayor, Coun David Brown, right.The winners with family, Rotary district governor David Kendrick, left, and Boston Mayor, Coun David Brown, right.
The winners with family, Rotary district governor David Kendrick, left, and Boston Mayor, Coun David Brown, right.

In Pictures: Brave and inspirational youngsters are recognised at Children of Courage Awards in Boston

​Youngsters from the Boston area who show bravery and resilience in the face of adversity have been recognised at a special event.

​The annual Children of Courage Awards, run by the Rotary clubs of Boston and Boston St Botolph, took place recently at the Boston and County Club. The four winning children were accompanied by family members and teachers and the event was also attended by Boston mayor, councillor David Brown.

The following individuals were awarded with words on each shared by their school or college.

• Thomas Gardner, 15, is said to inspire everyone he meets with his “fun-loving personality and cheeky ways”. A school spokesperson for his school, Boston Endeavour Academy, said: “Tom lives at home with his wonderful mum, dad and younger brother, whom he adores. He has a special place in all of our hearts.

“Tom has Cockayne syndrome, which presents with short stature, photosensitivity, pathological ageing and global development delay, meaning he requires high levels of specialised support.

“This includes regular hospital appointments which can be very distressing for Tom, yet he still shows bravery at each and every appointment.”

Tom also faces many daily challenges, including both visual and hearing impairment and relies on the use of hearing aids and glasses.

They added: “Tom never lets this stop him from taking part in a wide range of experiences and his sheer determination to try his best in everything he does is something we all admire.

"Tom, you are an amazing young man and we are all so proud of you.”

• Megan Thompson's journey at Boston College began in September 2022, and showcases her exceptional dedication and courage. Enrolled in the rigorous two-year Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Children's Play, Learning, and Development, Megan faced 18 assignments, nine placements, and three exams, along with a demanding 750 placement hours requirement.

Her nominator said: “Megan [has] displayed remarkable fortitude. Her journey, marked by resilience, courage, and unwavering commitment, positions her as a beacon of inspiration and a deserving candidate for the Children of Courage Award.”

• Jeanie Walsh-Dodd is described as “an inspirational young lady who always tries her best regardless of what she is faced with”. The Year 9 pupil has Spina Bifida, hydrocephalus and other conditions affecting her mobility, motor skills and many aspects of her daily life. A spokesperson for her school said: “Jeanie has been through many personal challenges, including medical operations, but maintains her humour and wonderful outlook on life. Her teachers commend Jeanie for her resilience in the classroom. In physiotherapy, she makes it her mission to complete as much as she can, and this attitude is reflected in all areas of her life. She stands out as a prominent, charismatic member of her cohort who never fails to put a smile on people’s faces. We are confident that nothing will ever stop Jeanie from achieving anything she sets her mind to. All staff who work with Jeanie agree that there is no-one more worthy of an award and we are all extremely proud of her.”

• Olivia Warrant is described as a “hard-working” and “positive” person despite facing adversity with a condition that causes severe tunnel vision. The Year 9 student attends Giles Academy and has ambitions of becoming a lawyer. A school spokesperson said: “Olivia has a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa. This visual condition is classed as severe and causes tunnel vision which impacts on her ability to carry out every day tasks. This includes reading tasks within the classroom, walking in confidence around a large school site, identifying those around her and completing physical activities in and out of school. Olivia comes to school every day with a smile on her face, she arrives a little later in the morning so she avoids the crowds and starts the day without any fuss.

"She is always positive to peers, giving compliments freely to staff and students. Olivia works really hard in lessons and is committed to her studies. In response to this across all subjects at school Olivia has achieved good to outstanding grades in all lessons for her attitude to learning. She has also achieved a colossal number of achievement points at school. Olivia has a large friendship group that supports her when necessary. For periods of time in school Olivia utilises a mobility cane to support her movement. In school, Olivia’s outlook is just to ‘get on with things’ - her diagnosis never stops her achieving what ever she wishes to achieve.

They added: “We as a Trust, and a school, are incredibly proud of Olivia, she lightens up everyone’s day. We have watched her grow in confidence day after day, learning to live confidently with her disability but not letting it prevent her from achieving her dreams. It is expected that Olivia’s condition will worsen over time and most significantly in the next few years. Olivia’s dream career is to be a lawyer. She is an incredible, courageous and inspirational young person.”

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