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By EMMA KNIGHTS
Friday, June 8, 2012
An award-winning fundraiser who combines his passion for science fiction with helping good causes has used his prize to create a new Dalek companion to help him collect funds for charity.
Nineteen-year-old Nathan Ward won the charity category at the 2011 Bernard Matthews Youth Awards, and was one of a number of young people honoured for achieving great things in a special awards ceremony.
Now the 2012 awards, in association with the Eastern Daily Press, are looking for a new set of young stars aged 11 to 18 to recognise for their inspiring achievements in categories including food champion, young farmer, bravery, education, community, charity, sport, cultural and environment.
Just like last year, the best in each category will receive £1,000 and there will also be a special winner of winners award.
Nathan, from Cathcart Street, Lowestoft, was given the 2011 charity accolade because he impressed the judges with his commitment to helping lots of good causes and the creative way in which he raised money – including making a Dalek costume powered by a mobility scooter which he takes out and about when fundraising.
One of the organisations Nathan supports is SHIMS, a support group for people with multiple sclerosis which is close to his heart because his mum Janet Ward has the condition.
He is also part of the Norwich Sci-fi Club and with the group has helped to raise thousands of pounds which have been divided between many causes including the British Heart Foundation, Help an East Coast Child, Help for Heroes and the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
About winning the 2011 award, he said: “I was not expecting to win because the competition was so high.
“I was just happy to be invited onto the stage and it was really a big surprise to win.
“It meant a lot to me and I was really happy because it created awareness for the fundraising we do.”
With his £1,000 prize, Nathan bought the materials to make a second Dalek with the help of his father Paul and he also a bought a trailer to transport the models.
“The new Dalek is based on the 2005 design and is just about ready – it just needs some lights,” he said. “The Daleks have proven to be very successful at fundraising. If you have got a Dalek running around people tend to gather around and I find them a very successful way of raising money for charity.”
On June 23 Nathan will be at Morrisons in Lowestoft with one of his Daleks to support SHIMS.
The Bernard Matthews Youth Awards in association with the Eastern Daily Press are also supported by Open, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and The Garage.
The EDP will report on all the 2011 winners of the Bernard Matthews Youth Awards in the coming weeks.
• How to enter the 2012 Bernard Matthews Youth Awards in association with Eastern Daily Press
All nine awards are open to both individuals and groups, and people can either enter themselves or nominate others.
Entrants must be aged 11 to 18 and live in Norfolk or Suffolk. Entries should show the entrant’s achievements and why they are exceptional.
If nominating somebody else you must have their permission and, if under 18, the permission of their parent or guardian. You can enter by filling out a form at www.bmyouthawards.com, uploading a video on the youth awards website or downloading a form from the website and sending it to Bernard Matthews Youth Awards, c/o Shorthose Russell Ltd, 12 Meridian Way, Meridian Business Park, Norwich, NR7 0TA.
Video entries must be no bigger than 10MB and no longer than three minutes.
The closing date for entries is July 20, 2012. Shortlisted entrants will be invited to an awards evening on Tuesday, October 30 when winners will be revealed.
For more information visit www.bmyouthawards.com, follow the awards on Twitter at @BMYouthAwards or telephone 01603 706566.
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