7 October 2013
An 11-year-old who leads epic fundraising walks in a bid to beat cancer has been named a young humanitarian hero by the British Red Cross.
Jonjo Heuerman was the overall winner at the annual Humanitarian Citizen Awards on 5 October.
A team of adventurous first aid heroes, anti-bullying campaigners and a teenager who helps others turn their lives around also picked up prizes during the ceremony at London’s Bishopsgate Institute. The annual event , supported by Canon, celebrates the amazing ways young people help others which often go unnoticed.
Jonjo’s walks have raised more than £120,000 for cancer charities. He has tackled distances of up to 66 miles and been joined by fellow fundraisers from Australia, Ukraine and Norway.
The schoolboy from Wilmington in Kent said: “I started doing them after my nan passed away from bowel cancer. It was a sad day – my sister wanted to do some fundraising and I decided to raise money as well.
“Sometimes it was hard to keep going on the walks – they were very tiring. But all the people behind me kept going, and that made me keep going.”
Building leaders, beating bullies and coping in crisis
Jonjo grabbed the top prize after winning the fundraising category. The winner in the community action competition was 17-year-old Luke Lancaster from East Sussex, whose charity Young Pioneers helps vulnerable young people overcome their problems and become leaders and role models.
The Truro College Ten Tors team picked up the first aid award. The teenagers were taking part in a gruelling outward bound challenge in Dartmoor when one of them was injured. Her teammates made sure she was safe and even helped other teams struggling with the difficult conditions.
The winner in the volunteering category was Young People’s Voice from Brighton. The group has more than 20 members and challenges discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people through school anti-bullying workshops, online campaigns and community events.
The day’s winners were chosen from a list of 23 finalists by a panel of young judges. Judge Laura Anderson said: “It’s been really hard to pick. When you hear what all these young people have done, it’s just so impressive. They are amazing stories.”
“Gobsmacked” Hayley thanked for helping young people
The Sheila Jose Award, which honours a Red Cross volunteer or staff member who does exceptional work helping and supporting young people, was given to Hayley Moon from Treorchy in south Wales.
Hayley has worked for the Red Cross for 29 years, first as a volunteer then later as an employee as well. The mother of two, who helps the Red Cross provide first aid at public events, said she was “absolutely gobsmacked” to win.
Hayley picked up the award for her outstanding work training and supporting young people. She said: “People underestimate how much young people can do.”