Photo gallery: Courageous Yorkshire children who have overcome hardship win accolades

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The bravery of children of all ages who have overcome hardship was celebrated at an emotional awards ceremony.

BBC journalist Steph McGovern presented the Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards at New Dock Hall in Leeds.

Young Carer award winner (0-12yrs) Romeo Challenger chats to Steph McGovern.
 PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Young Carer award winner (0-12yrs) Romeo Challenger chats to Steph McGovern. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Winners included Connor Lynes who set up a foundation for to help youngsters with brain injuries after he suffered an accident while playing rugby which left him unable to play the game he loves.

The 15-year-old, from Hull, was the winner in the Outstanding Bravery in the 13-18 category.

In the 0-12 outstanding bravery category, Freddie McDonald, from Ossett was praised for his courage for inspiring people to raise £65,000 after being diagnosed with Alagille Syndrome – a rare and life-threatening liver disease.

Award winning fundraiser Ella Marsden, 14, also from Ossett said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be here. It’s an amazing ceremony. I’m so happy and a bit nervous.”

She has carried out a 10 kilometre run event every year since being old enough.

The youngster, who has type one diabetes, has campaigned to break down stigma and raise awareness about the condition.

The evening was full of inspirational stories.

After being born at 29 weeks’ gestation, Oscar Day’s lung collapsed when he was one-day-old, which caused him severe cerebral palsy. His parents, from Knaresborough. were told a few weeks later that it was likely Oscar would be deaf and blind.

Now three-years-old, Oscar has full sight and good hearing and has defied the odds.

Rosey Naylor from Ilkley won the young carer award. The 13-year-old lives with her mother and father and sister, who has autism.

After her Michelle fell over following a slip on black ice a few years ago, she suffered brain damage and now has epilepsy. Her mother has fits throughout the day and has been taken to hospital on several occasions.

Through out this Rosey has cared for her.

Special guests Leah Washington and Joe Pugh, who were involved in the Alton Towers Smiler ride accident, presented an award during the ceremony. Soul star Jaki Graham closed the show with The Charity Dreamgirls band, founded by Huddersfield-born business expert Kate Hardcastle. And notables such as the head of Welcome to Yorkshire Sir Gary Verity, the Chuckle Brothers, Leeds United legend Eddie Gray and Paralympian tennis player Antony Cotterill turned out to the event. St James’s Place Foundation has raised and distributed more than £46m to good causes since starting the event , which is supported by The Yorkshire Post, in 2011.

Entertainer Paul Chuckle made his third appearance at the ceremony.

He said: “We have a great night every time we come. It’s not far up the road and it’s all Yorkshire kids - you can’t beat that. Many a tear has been shed when the stories come up. It’s just brilliant.”

Jaki Graham said: “There’s some wonderful children and wonderful families.

“If I can make somebody smile and and take them back to years gone by, it’s all good.”

Ossett fundraiser Ella Marsden, 14, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be here. It’s an amazing ceremony. I’m so happy and a bit nervous.”

Speaking about life after the accident, Joe Pugh said: “You need to just take every day as it comes - you never know what’s around the corner.”

He and Leah Washington presented Amber Buckle with the 0-12 fundraiser award.

WINNERS

outstanding bravery

0-12 - Freddie McDonald

All heart: At four months old Freddie was diagnosed with a rare life-threatening liver disease called Alagille Syndrome – which affects just one in 100,000. At two-and-a-half years his parents were told that he congenital heart disease. Then at three, he was given a liver transplant and later had to undergo open heart surgery to repair his heart defect. 
Despite this he has inspired family and friends to raise £65,000 for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation through sky dives, Three Peaks Challenges and summer balls.

Fundraiser

0 – 12 Amber Buckle

Superstar: Eight-year-old Amber Buckle has been going the extra mile since she could walk. Aged just five-years-old, the inspirational youngster walked the Yorkshire Three Peaks and raised money for Heart Research UK. She has since run a number of 5 kilometre races and taken part in a string of five-mile walks. Amber also organised a Winter Walk around Roundahy Park, climbed the pen-y-ghent peak in the Yorkshire Dales and has sold key rings she made herself to raise cash. The Leeds Rhinos fan famously challenged Bradford Bulls player Adrian Purtell to run a race after he suffered a heart attack in 2012 during his recovery. The youngster beat the rugby star to the finish line while raising money for charity. Amber’s latest challenge was to swim a mile for charity and the youngster managed to complete 64 lengths in a pool in just an hour-and-a-half.

Special Recognition

0-12 Oscar Day

Inspiration: After being born at 29 weeks’ gestation, Oscar’s lung collapsed when he was one-day-old, which caused him severe cerebral palsy. His parents were told a few weeks later that it was likely Oscar would be deaf and blind. Now three-years-old, Oscar has full sight and good hearing and has defied the odds. He has already undergone two surgical operations and suffers pain and spasms every day, and struggles to lift his head, sit and walk. But after a recent operation on his hip, which left both his legs in a cast for three weeks, he came out smiling and laughing the day after. The youngster continues to take on any challenge he faces, and now attends a local nursery and joins in with his peers.

Young Carer

0 – 12 Romeo Challenger

Brave: Romeo takes on more than most children in his age group. The youngster cares for his mother, who is epileptic, on kidney dialysis and struggles to walk due to dystonia. He looks after her when she has a seizure by knowing when she is going to have one and keeps her safe. He also comforts her and gives her a drink and medication after her seizure. The inspirational youngster also helps take care of his younger sister - and does all he can to make his mum’s life easier.

Sporting Achievement

0 – 12 Lucas Town

Driven: Despite his cerebral palsy, Lucas Town plays in Oldham every two weeks and attends special tournaments. The youngster also takes part in a high school wheelchair club, and has played wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis, and goes swimming. Lucas competed at his school’s sports day event recently and came first place in an adapted beanbag race - with his classmates and parents of children cheering him over the line. The sports-mad young man has taken part in a range of other sporting activities with his Cubs unit - including climbing, abseiling, grass sledging, archery and has recently been filmed for a new programme on the CBeebies TV show.

Outstanding Bravery

13-18 Connor Lynes

Fighter: Brave Connor Lynes has had to battle all his life. 
He lost his devoted dad when he was one-year-old, and later moved in with his aunt after his mum could no longer cope. Four years after the move, the youngster also lost his grandmother after a battle with cancer. Then in 2010, after developing a love for sport, Connor was involved in a collision with a car aged eight-years-old. The youngster suffered multiple fractures but battled back to return to the field for a local rugby team. But one year later, after a tackle while playing, Connor had a blood clot in an artery which eventually caused a stroke. He has since returned home after surgery and despite suffering with confusion, memory and fatigue sickness, has raised £5,000 for local charities.

Fundraiser

13-18 Ella Marsden

Champion: 14-year-old Ella Marsden has taken part in a 10 kilometre run event every year since being old enough. The youngster, who has Type One diabetes, has vigorously campaigned to break down stigma and raise awareness about the condition since being a little girl. Ella supports the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) charity - which is dedicated to Type One diabetes. This year, Ella’s school has chosen the JDRF as its charity to support. And last November, on World Diabetes Day, the youngster held a ‘party night’ event with the help of her dedicated mum, where 120 people attended to learn more about the condition. Ella has since been invited by JDRF to Parliament in London, for an event to meet MPs. She has raised a total of more than £5,500 for charity.

Special Recognition

13-18 James Goldberg

Fearless: Seeing his father Richard take on a gruelling cycle challenge from Leeds to London to raise money for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital inspired a young James Goldberg. After his dad and grandma passed away a few years later, the youngster wanted to emulate the feat. He has since taken part in two separate cycle challenges with fellow school friends Ollie Walton, Finlay Bruce, Benji Ambler, Adam Best. The tenacious group has now raised more than £24,000 for Cancer Research UK. In their latest cycling fundraiser, the youngsters travelled 179 miles in three days for charity.

Young Carer

13-18 Rosey Naylor

Big-hearted: Rosey Naylor always lives life with a smile on her face, even when times get tough. The 13-year-old lives with her mum, dad and sister, who has autism. After mum Michelle fell over following a slip on black ice a few years ago, she suffered brain damage and now has epilepsy. Her mum has fits throughout the day and has been taken to hospital on several occasions. Throughout her mum’s battle, Rosey has cared for her. The youngster arranges her medication, calls 999 in emergencies, is a keen first-aider and looks after her sister, worries when being home alone with her mum that she cannot take her of her. Family and friends have described Rosey as “one of the most caring and thoughtful people” they have ever known. The inspirational youngster also helps a friend of her mother, who has adopted three children with special needs.

Sporting Achievement

13-18 Ellie Sutcliffe

Remarkable: 16-year-old Ellie Sutcliffe is a young rugby star in West Yorkshire. The youngsters plays rugby for Castleford Rugby Union and Oulton Raiders League, at open age. She also plays for Yorkshire Ladies under 18s rugby union team and has recently been selected to train with the England Ladies’ rugby league team. When she was six-years-old, Ellie’s mum Jo had an operation which left her with pancreatitis, anaphylaxis and severe diabetes. Ellie stepped up as her mum’s main carer and deals with regular anaphylactic shocks, and trips to hospital with her mum. Even more remarkable, the sporting star had an accident aged eight, and broke her leg and foot so badly that had to miss school for a year. The accident left the youngster with one foot two sizes bigger than the other - and her rugby boots have to be taped on. Ellie battled back, caught up on missed school time and has just taken her GCSEs at St Wilfred’s High School in Featherstone. Her family and friends have since described her as an “amazing girl who has found that playing rugby has really helped her”.