Bear Grylls gives scout’s honour to brave fundraiser who was inspired by Captain Tom

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Brave schoolboy Oliver Jensen was inspired by the nation’s lockdown hero Captain Tom to walk to help boost NHS funds – and he has won a top award from the Scouting movement for his efforts.

 

The 10-year-old from Thornton has suffered from brittle bone disease since birth and has to visit Manchester Children’s Hospital every six months for treatment, some if it often painful.

When lockdown was imposed last year and he saw reports of Captain’s Tom fund-raising walk around his garden, Oliver was keen to follow suit – and turned his determination into £375 through sponsorship as he covered just under 25 miles as he walked a route in his neighbourhood, which was in Cleveleys until a recent move to Thornton, 100 times.

The member of the 2nd Cleveleys (St Andrews) Cubs who attends St Teresa’s RC Primary School in Cleveleys was nominated for and subsequently awarded the Bear Grylls Unsung Hero award and invited to the Bear Grylls Adventure Centre in Birmingham to collect his certificate and enjoy a day out with his family.

Oliver is presented with his Scout's award by Bear Grylls

Oliver is presented with his Scout’s award by Bear Grylls

“We are so proud of him,” said mum Naomi. “He saw what Captain Tom had done to help the NHS and was determined to do his bit.

“The NHS have been brilliant for Oliver, locally as well as in Manchester and it’s wonderful that being able to help in this way has earned this recognition from the Scouts.

“He loves Scouting and really missed it during lockdown. He’s proud to be involved and the chance to meet Bear Grylls was a real thrill for him.

“He doesn’t let the brittle bones disease get him down. He walks with a frame at school, more for protection than anything, but he did much of the fund-raising walk unaided and he was determined to raise as much money as he could.

“He used to go for treatment to Manchester every four months, now it’s every six – it’s just part of the routine, and we’re all very grateful for everything they are doing.”

The Bear’s Heroes awards in Birmingham annually see 20 young people from around the country recognised for doing remarkable things over the last year.

A spokesman for the Scout Association said: “It’s an opportunity for us to celebrate the achievements of those who have gone above and beyond, who have demonstrated Scouting values or have supported their community.

“Cooperation, integrity, care, respect, kindness, and resilience – these are just a few of the qualities these young people have shown throughout a very unconventional year.

“The pandemic was tough for all young people, but these Scouts have still managed to stay motivated, overcome challenges and achieve the truly amazing.

“Our goal at Scouts is to prepare our young people with Skills for Life, so that they can make a difference and achieve these extraordinary things..”

Bear Grylls said: “It’s a privilege to have met these young people.

“I was able to look them in the eye and recognise what a horrible year they’ve had but could see they still had a big smile on their face.

“They are an example to so many of us. How we conduct ourselves in those tough times really matters, and these young people have demonstrated resilience, have kept positive, have kept kind and never gave up their spirit.”