A Dewsbury teenager has won a prestigious national award for service to his community.
Thirteen-year-old Samuel Wilson attends St John Fisher Catholic Academy in Dewsbury. He was one of more than 300 teenagers across the country entered for the Celebrating Young People Awards. The Dorothy Day Award which Samuel won recognises young people who engage with those around them, making their community a better place for all.
As a trained anti-bullying ambassador Samuel is always very supportive of his peers, delivering assemblies to each school year group during anti-bullying week and helping Year 7s move from primary school into high school. He is also a reader, leads worship and music and also recruits, trains and co-ordinates altar servers in the Catholic churches he attends with his family at St Paulinus in Dewsbury and St Joseph’s, Batley Carr.
St John Fisher’s Lay Chaplain, Angela Eddy, travelled with Samuel, his parents and grandparents to the glittering West End awards ceremony attended by Cardinal Vincent Nichols. She said, ‘He carries out all his responsibilities and more with cheerfulness and purpose while displaying a maturity beyond his years. Samuel stands out from the crowd. Being acknowledged will further strengthen Samuel’s commitment and is of great pride to his very supportive family.’
‘Nominating Samuel was a truly tremendous opportunity to acknowledge his faith, generosity of time and commitment to service of others. This award is a positive reinforcement and celebration of his actions and greatly affirms his choices in life to date. Sam embraces all opportunities and this will truly encourage him to share the importance of living life to the fullest.’
The Celebrating Young People Awards are organised by the Catholic charity, Million Minutes, to inspire young people to get more involved in social action projects, and help everyone reflect on how promoting peace, building community and caring for creation can be lived out every day.
Although Samuel was aware he had been nominated for the award, he didn’t know that he would be travelling to the ceremony in London – and had no idea he was a winner. In fact, Sam – a gifted pianist who achieved Grade 3 piano in just 10 months – was quite disappointed that the trip to London meant he was unable to play in the school concert.
Samuel said, ‘I was so surprised when my photograph appeared on the screen announcing the winner. I honestly believed I was privileged to have even been given the opportunity just to be there.’