INSPIRATIONAL Pedmore teenager, Ben Hart is encouraging people to nominate youngsters that have triumphed in the face of serious illness for a national award.
The 18-year-old, who suffers from a degenerative bone condition after having Perthes Disease as a child, was given the title of Inspiration Young Person at last year's WellChild Awards.
Ben was nominated for the top accolade by Explorer Scout leader Mike Randle who has been impressed by Ben’s refusal to let his condition stop him achieving his goals.
The youngster has been an enthusiastic member of the Scouts for many years and completed his Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award expedition in extreme pain, just three weeks after undergoing a seven-hour operation.
He was invited to star-studded awards ceremony in London, where to his surprise, he was announced as the winner.
Ben said: “Winning was a huge shock and I was honoured to meet some truly amazing young people whose courage and stories will stay with me forever. I had a fantastic evening at the ceremony, meeting lots of celebrities.
"The highlights were definitely sitting next to Prince Harry.
"I still don’t feel that extraordinary, but hope that my story will inspire other young people to never give up in life no matter what it throws at you.”
Ben is now calling on people to put forward their nominations for this year's awards and recognise the courage of children coping with serious illnesses or complex conditions and the dedication of professionals who work with sick children and their families.
The categories are: inspirational child or young person, most caring child or young person, doctor, nurse and health team.
WellChild would also like to hear about people who have made a real difference to seriously ill children by caring above and beyond the call of duty or those that have worked hard to keep children healthy and happy – including outstanding health, social care or education professionals.
Nominations can be made online at www.wellchild.org.uk or nomination forms can be requested by calling 0845 458 8171.
The closing date for all entries is May 1.