INSPIRATIONAL is the one word which perfectly sums up the Mail’s Children of Courage and Achievement ceremony.
Fourteen children and young people were honoured during the event at the Pirelli Stadium – and each had a reason which made them just as deserving as the others.
From tales of great courage in the face of adversity, to achievements in sports and performing arts and selflessness and generosity which were thought-provoking even for adults in the audience, there was plenty to fit the ‘inspirational’ category.
Kevin Booth, editor of the Burton Mail, which ran the awards with Bretby and Burton Rotary clubs, told those gathered: “These awards bring out and shine a light on some of the many fantastic things our youngsters do, day in, day out.
“We have uncovered some memorable stories about the work and achievements of young people from all corners of the Mail’s circulation area, and this evening, we celebrate the best of them.”
Those gathered for the evening heard the tale of Kyle Forryan, 11, who has battled cerebral palsy his entire life, and 10-year-old Martha Murray, who has remained happy and upbeat despite her daily fight with cystic fibrosis, and the tragic loss of her beloved dad last year. People fought back tears as Kaitlyn Bannister, 11, told master of ceremonies Dave Bryon she puts so much work into caring for her disabled mum ‘just because I love her’, and gave a round of applause to Dane Bradford-Disney, who donated bone marrow to his little brother Aston when he failed to respond to chemotherapy to fight his leukaemia.
More than 8,000 votes were cast in the awards, in their second year.
One proud mum said: “It’s great that so many young people are being recognised for what they have achieved in lots of ways. The fact that so many people voted just shows the strength of feeling for the achievements of these children.”
But South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler was the person who offered the most fitting account of the evening, when she said: “These young people are incredible, and I am humbled to be their MP.”