Inspiring winners of Scouts awards

Amir Cheema Blog

Scout's award season is on its way and it's time to nominate. In anticipation, we met a few of our most recent, inspiring winners. 

SOPHIE SHUTE, 6, BEAVER, 14TH ALDERSHOT BEAVERS

Sophie showed great confidence when using her day-old first aid skills when her mother Andrea collapsed in their home. Her fearless attitude has inspired her Colony, school friends and family. Andrea picks up the story…

‘Scouting is new for our family;we have become more involved within the last year since my eldest daughter Mia, who is a Scout, started attending. She had been finding it difcult to make friends at school and had been bullied a lot. Scouting has really helped her to open up more to people and to become a fun loving and confident teenager.

‘Our youngest daughter Sophie, who is six, has been attending Beavers for about a month. It was only the night before I collapsed when she completed her first aid training at Beavers.

‘I woke up extra early one morning and was feeling very strange. I began to make my way upstairs to wake my husband out of bed; as I was walking through the hallway, I fell to the floor and I was lying there for a while. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk it was awful! I know that I had just collapsed, but it felt like I was dying.

‘At the corner of my eye I could see Sophie coming down the stairs. At this point I was going in and out of consciousness and she rushed to my side and began to stroke my hair. She called for Mia and while she did that, my daughter Katie, who has learning difculties, walked over and saw me on the floor and burst into tears. Sophie calmed Katie down and took control of the situation. She told Mia to get their dad and put me into the recovery position. My husband flew down the stairs and began to take over. The whole time Sophie was beside me, stroking my hair and talking to me. She was so brave. Sophie is a very busy and talkative little girl who loves to have fun but in this moment she was calm and knew what she was doing.

‘Her Beaver Leader Angela gave her a certificate that said she passed her Emergency Aid Staged Activity Badge stage 1. Angela also presented Sophie with a medal for putting her first aid skills into practice.

‘Sophie’s incredible achievement has inspired her community and she has been nominated by one of the local papers for a Pride of Britain award. We’re hoping she will be given a Scouting gallantry award as well.

‘She is now telling all her school friends that it’s really important to learn their first aid skills. Her Scouting award is making a positive impact among her friends. We are all extremely proud.’

 

ALISON MCCANN, 14, EXPLORER SCOUT, 33RD AYRSHIRE

Alison was awarded the Cornwell Scout Badge for her amazing leadership and sporting achievements while dealing with a disability.

‘I have a condition called scoliosis, which can be really painful. To get through the hard times it’s good to have something like Scouts and knowing you always have people to support you and share the fun times with. Scouting gives you opportunities to be with people you love and you love to be with.

‘Going to Windsor Castle for my award is one of my Scouting highlights and it was amazing. Receiving my award was completely overwhelming. I felt honoured and so grateful; it was really exciting but nerve-racking at the same time. I felt a big mixture of emotions, but overall I felt really honoured and grateful to the Movement to have been given it.

‘Since the award I have done a sponsored 44-mile walk to give back to one of the foundations that works with the hospital where I had my operation. A couple of my Scout leaders came along with me and we raised £1,200. We also did another walk that had the highest peaks in the District (I’m really into my walking) and it was over 17 miles – my dad even joined me on this one.

‘The advice I would give to young people who have a disability is to know what you can and can’t do and if it’s something that you really want to do, see if there is a way you can. Also, just look at the things you can do rather than the things you can’t do and know that you can talk to people.

‘There are always people out there who are willing to talk to you and I’ve found that talking to someone who has been through the same thing is really helpful. Even talking to a parent or someone you know who is just going to be there for you is really helpful and just look at the positives rather than the negatives.

‘Nominating people for awards shows that you support them, that you’re proud of them, that you support the things that they’ve done and you recognise what they have been through. It will give someone a lot of self-confidence.’

 

AMIR CHEEMA, DEPUTY CHAIR MSF, DISTRICT COMMISSIONER, BRUNEL SCOUT DISTRICT

Amir was awarded an MBE for his work with the Muslim Scout Fellowship and contribution to Scouting. Through the Muslim Scout Fellowship, Amir has helped to increase integration in his local multicultural community.

‘In May 2014 I received the Points of Light award from the Prime Minister David Cameron, which I received for leadership in the community and bringing people together. When I received my award I was grateful for the recognition, but it’s not only me – there are leaders working tirelessly within the Muslim Scout Fellowship across the country.

‘Scouting gives young people the opportunity for them to be the person that they want to be.

‘I started originally when my children were at the age when they wanted to get involved in Scouting and extra curricular activities and in Bristol there was a waiting list, so I joined and supported the local group as a Beaver Leader and then started a new Group. After that I helped start the Muslim Scout Fellowship.

‘I’ve done lots of youth work in the past; I’m a retired captain in the Territorial Army so I’ve worked in diferent areas of the community.

‘I’ve been quite fortunate to travel a bit when I was younger and witness people working better when they are working closely with each other. I would like to get people working closer together to achieve their full potential.

‘Anything is possible – have a dream and make that dream happen.’

Visit members.scouts.org.uk/windsor to find out what awards you can nominate young people and adult volunteers for. For further advice, please email awards@scouts.org.uk or call 020 8433 7193/7192 

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