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Honouring outstanding young people in Yorkshire Raising funds for deserving charities

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Winners 2013

Winners 0 - 12 years


Outstanding Bravery Award

Libby Carstairs

Libby, 10, from Rastrick, near Halifax, is an inspiration to everyone she meets. She was born with a congenital heart defect and suffered severe complications following essential major surgery at Leeds General Infirmary, which included suffering a stroke and losing the big toe on her right foot. She was in intensive care and spent five months in hospital. Libby has shown courage and determination in learning to walk again and to be in school as much as she can. She is forever smiling, has an infectious giggle and is always ready to chat to anyone, despite damage to her voice.


Fundraiser Award

Megan Rodd

Megan, 6, of Dewsbury, began fundraising at just five years old and the Leeds Rhinos fan even donates her tooth fairy money to the Leeds Rugby Foundation, which changes lives through sport. She has collected money in supermarkets and even climbed Ben Nevis to achieve her aim of helping others. Birthday cash and pocket money are also donated to her cause. She took a bucket up Ben Nevis to collect money on the way, and managed to persuade Leeds Rhinos’ mascot Ronnie to accompany her in his full costume.


Special Recognition

Grace Fu

Grace, 5, of Seacroft, Leeds, sustained a serious brain injury and other injuries during the first months of life. As a result she will be dependent on others for the rest of her life and requires 24-hour care. Yet she is an extremely happy child and brings joy to her maternal grandparents, who care for her.


Young Carer Of The Year Award

Josh Tootill

When Josh, 9, of Horsforth, Leeds, was just four years old his mother Caroline became a wheelchair user and suffered constant pain. Life for her is tough and she says Josh is the reason she manages. She said: “Josh is such an angel and helps me achieve whatever it is I’m doing. It can be simple like bringing something from upstairs or helping with the shopping or housework. So many things that most children take for granted, Josh is helping with”.


Sporting Achievement Award

George Pearson

George, 8, of Leeds, began playing powerchair football for Leeds PFC in September 2012. In his first tournament in July 2013 he led the way as his side won the Development League and was top goalscorer. His performances were commented upon by the Wheelchair Football Association development officer for the North East.

Winners 13 - 18 years


Young Carer Of The Year Award

Joe Barry

Joe, 16, of Leeds, was born with complex heart problems, will need further open heart surgery in the future and is currently wearing a pacemaker. He was only able to run for the first time at the age of 16. But he has shown bravery and has also made a great contribution to the high-profile regional campaign Save our Surgery. Joe has spoken to many media organisations about his heart condition while his strength of character and experience have inspired other children.


Special Recognition

Robert Christy

Robert, 15, of Bradford, was born at 32 weeks and suffered a brain injury at seven weeks. He was adopted by Barry and Denise Christy and lives in the family home with his adopted brother Alister. Despite requiring round-the-clock care and support, he remains cheerful and a joy to be around.


Fundraiser Award

Isabella Cook

Isabella, 15, from Harrogate, was born with various congenital heart conditions and her heart is on the wrong side of her body, but she has been a fundraiser along with her mother Patti for 10 years, and has raised around £140,000 for the regional charity, Children’s Heart Surgery Fund. She has also raised awareness of congenital heart disease despite having had major operations that have made her bedridden for weeks at a time.


Sporting Achievement Award

Thomas Holmes

Aspiring paralympian and Sheffield Smashers Boccia Club star Thomas, 15, of Sheffield, had an amazing year at the Disability Games, organised by Barnsley Rotary Club. Thomas, who has cerebral palsy, won three golds and a silver. He was also the winner of the Triumph over Adversity award in the Sheffield Star Superkids awards 2013.


Sporting Achievement Award

Sianagh Gallagher

When Sianagh, 16, of York, was born ten weeks early, doctors told her mother to prepare herself for the worst. Sianagh had a string of complications including just one arm, no collarbone, a curved spine, twisted pelvis, dislocated knee and both feet facing the wrong way. But despite the early setback, Sianagh has beaten all the odds to become the first one-armed person to join Team GB’s paraclimbing team


Outstanding Bravery Award

Sam Whelan

Sam, 18, of Rotherham, was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 15 but he has faced the many operations and gruelling treatment with a dogged attitude, letting nothing bring him down. While his friends were studying for their exams, Sam lay in a hospital bed fighting his disease, yet as soon as he could he volunteered to support a young family facing a similar illness on the DIY SOS television programme and worked from 6am until after 9pm each day. Sam also organised a sponsored walk across the Three Peaks and even managed to complete the walk himself, raising £1,700.

Group Award Winners


Group Award

Lighthouse School Group

Lighthouse School Leeds is for young people aged 11 to 19 with an autistic spectrum condition or related communication disorder. It is Yorkshire’s first special free school, offering a personalised education which combines the national curriculum with vocational subjects.