A Teenager from Widnes who has raised more than £30,000 for charity is shortlisted for a prestigious National Diversity Award.

Aidan Jackson, 17, started his fundraising work more than four years ago and is in the running for a positive role model award for age.

On his nomination, Aidan said: “I am totally shocked, surprised and honoured to have been shortlisted for this amazing award.

“I want to thank every single person who nominated me and those that support my fundraising as without their support I wouldn’t be in this position now.”

He started fundraising after close friend Olivia Walker passed away in 2014. Her family set up a foundation in her memory The Olivia Alice Foundation.

His many challenges in that time include a Mile of pennies, sponsored walk, swimming the distance of the English Channel Crossing in a pool, raffles, car boot sales and craft stalls.

He even filled the local rugby stadium with 10,900 teddy bears before sending the teddy bears off to help children around the world with an organisation called Bearlyloved.org

He also collected sleeping bags, coats, warm clothing and toiletries for the homeless in Liverpool and then distributed them of an evening over a couple of weeks.

I hold an annual Christmas Carol Concert Fundraiser for the community in the garden at my home.

He is currently raising funds for community defibrillators and since August last year I has managed to buy five community defibrillators and am now on to raising enough funds for community defibrillator number 6, which will be installed at Halton Haven Day Hospice in Runcorn.

On his charitable work, he said: “I don’t always find my fundraising easy as due to my age and Aspergers, ADHD along with problems with my legs.

“I don’t let this deter me and have been in situations that many of my peers haven’t had the opportunity of.

“I have recently been ill in hospital but I am determined to continue to help as many people as I possibly can.”

HSBC, Direct Line Group & MI5 have recently been announced as sponsors of the pioneering awards that have paid tribute to over 700 grass root charities and diversity champions since its inception. Joining the likes of Auto Trader UK & Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure, ITV News are also listed amongst a host of companies showcasing their support to recognising diverse talent.

An MI5 spokesperson said: “It is MI5’s mission to keep the country safe and it’s vital that we represent the diverse society we seek to protect.

“We are at our strongest when we have the richest mix of the best talent, working together in an environment that allows people to thrive. Put simply, our diverse workforce is crucial to our operational successes.

“We are pleased to be able to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to inclusion through our continued support for these awards.

“They are an important way of recognising and celebrating the good work being done across the country to promote inclusivity, diversity and provide opportunity for all.”

Designed to highlight the country’s most inspirational and selfless people,

The National Diversity Awards are endorsed by high profile figures such as Stephen Fry, Sir Lenny Henry CBE and Graham Norton.

More than 28,000 people were nominated this year alone, with an astonishing 124 nominees being recognised for their various achievements nationwide.

The winners will be revealed during a ceremony at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on September 20.

Amongst those being honoured are a reformed gangster, a Junior Bake Off Star and a host of campaigners and activists, all of whom work tirelessly to combat injustice and discrimination in very different ways.

Actress and comedian Sally Phillips will host the event.

She said: “Acknowledging and celebrating the hard work and stand out achievements of role models and community groups throughout the UK is a genuine honour for me.

“Having attended the Awards back in 2016, I experienced this fabulous ceremony first hand and I cannot wait to be back this year celebrating the dedication and commitment of some of the UK’s most luminous and exceptional people.”

Paul Sesay, founder and chief executive of the National Diversity Awards, added “A record amount of nominations and votes were received this year, the most we have ever received.

“Congratulations to all of our shortlisted nominees, it is a privilege to recognise your bravery, resilience and courage and I am honoured to share this with the nation.

“I look forward to congratulating you in person in September”.

To see the full list of nominees, visit

www.nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/shortlist

Source – www . Runcorn and Widnes World . co . uk

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