Blackpool schoolboy Jordan Banks to get the recognition he deserves so much

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The nine-year-old has been nominated for a Pride of Britain award for his fund-raising efforts

 

Jordan Banks with his characteristic 'cheeky grin'Jordan Banks with his characteristic ‘cheeky grin’

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A Blackpool schoolboy who touched the hearts of his community by raising money and awareness for a mental health charity has been nominated for a national award following his death.

This autumn, the Pride of Britain Awards will return for its 22nd year and the nation can nominate anyone of any age for a single act of courage, a long-lasting battle against the odds or for their inspirational campaigning.

The Good Morning Britain Young Fundraiser of the Year award is a chance to honour a young person aged 15 or under for their inspirational charity work.

Chair of Trustees for Blackpool’s Counselling In The Community, Chris Webb, has now nominated nine-year-old Stanley Primary School pupil Jordan Banks who was killed by a lightning strike on Tuesday (May 11) whilst at football training.

Chris, who is also a driver and fundraiser for Blackpool Food Bank, said: “I’ve nominated Jordan because he was an inspiration to us all. At such a young age he showed immense compassion for others and wanted to make a difference.

“His fundraising for us at Counselling In The Community has helped us open a new community hub where locals can receive mental health support. His legacy will live on and we’re all incredibly proud of him.”

At the beginning of the year, Jordan’s family were discussing how to mark the 30th birthday of his step-uncle Reece who had sadly taken his own life due to mental health issues.

As the brother of his step-dad, Daniel Banks, 35, Jordan was very close to Reece and overheard the adults talking about what to do given the fact that they were quite restricted in ways to mark the occasion due to Covid-19.

An LFC fan and player for the Clifton Rangers Junior Football Club, Jordan was a football fanatic, however to their surprise he suggested running a marathon.

The middle child of three, Jordan had never been a runner in particular however he was determined that this is what he wanted to do.

After being told by his mum, 38-year-old Danielle Begg, that a marathon consists of 26 miles, Jordan stated he wanted to run extra and run 30 to mark Reece’s 30th birthday.

His step-dad Daniel had become friends with the founder of Counselling in the Community, Stuart Hutton-Brown, after Reece’s passing.

Solely reliant on donations with no government funding, the CiC has seen an overwhelming increase in demand for counselling during the pandemic whilst operating on a very small budget with 50 volunteers seeing around 110 clients a week.

This was Jordan’s chosen charity and Stuart not only hailed him as a hero but praised Danielle and Daniel for being excellent advocates for mental health.

Jordan has always displayed a massive amount of empathy from a young age with even the mum of his school friend buying him a gift after he helped her child through a particular tough time.

His runs to complete his 30-mile challenge could at times be difficult, even slipping over on ice at one point, however he showed the same kind of determination that he displayed on the football pitch which earned him the nickname ‘mini-Milner’.

After persevering, he smashed his target and raised £3,000 which got the attention of the Liverpool vice-captain himself who sent him a video congratulating him on his determination and told him he’ll never walk alone.

Even after Jordan’s passing last month, the nine-year-old has managed to help save the lives of three other children after his parents made the decision to donate his organs after he expressed previously that that would be a way that he would want to help other people.

In order to initially nominate a child under 15, the person has to get permission from the parent or guardian.

Jordan’s Mum Danielle is thrilled to have her son nominated and has thanked those who have voted so far.

She said: “We thought this was amazing and knew Jord would be so excited, so we’ve asked our family and friends if they can nominate him too.

“We would be thrilled if he could get to the finals. He deserves this so much. Jordan did so much for the local community and charity. If people can vote for him it’s very much appreciated.”

Jordan’s family also encouraged attendees of his memorial service to donate to Brian’s House Children’s Hospice.

Nominations close on August 13 at 11:59pm.