Young Wolverhampton role model wins national praise for inspirational fundraising efforts
A young role model has won national recognition for his 'extraordinary' contribution to the city.
Owen Perks was one of just 24 youngsters honoured with a British Citizen Youth Award (BCyA) for his incredible fundraising efforts.
The 11-year-old was celebrating after judges were impressed with his positive impact within Wolverhampton.
Hardip Bahia, Wolverhampton store director of awards partner Specsavers, said: "Owen’s story is truly inspiring. He is clearly dedicated in his mission to ease the lives of others and give his tie and effort to his local community.
"It’s wonderful to see in someone so young, and I hope he continues his work into the future."
Inspirational under-16s from across the nation were commended for their work at a glitzy prize-giving ceremony at the Palace of Westminster last month.
The initiative highlights the acts of bravery, kindness and compassion carried out by some of the countries youngest stars.
Owen received his accolade from dancing sensation Ashley Banjo, whose group won talent show Britain's Got Talent.
Mentor Jagraj Poselay, who nominated Owen for the award, said: "I have known Owen for several years and he is a caring, compassionate young man with a ‘can do’ attitude to making a positive difference to other people’s lives.
"He often comes to me with a new fundraising idea, because I have a lot of experience of doing charity work in the local area.
"Owen sees no challenge as too big and is constantly looking for new causes to raise awareness or funds within his community. He is very deserving of this award."
Owen set off on his path to help others in 2015, when he shaved his shoulder-length hair and raised £560 for the Teenager Cancer Trust.
He went on to raise £420 with cousin Kaiden during a sponsored walk to gather Christmas gifts for the care home where his grandfather worked.
The Ormiston New Academy student later decided to help schoolboy Jordan Lees, who suffers from cerebral palsy and autism, to reach his dreams and go on holiday.
Wolverhampton resident Owen raised £140 through selling sweet-tasting cakes and cookies, as well as by sitting in a box for six hours to show Jordan's restricted movements.
Owen continued his fundraising mission, raising almost £1,000 for five-year-old Tommy Brown after he lost both legs to meningitis.
He strolled from Walsall to Wolverhampton, held a cake sale, dressed up and collected cash in donation buckets so Tommy could choose his own prosthetic legs.
The youngster is currently volunteering at the city's Manna Soup Kitchen and recently braved Storm Brian for 24 hours, sitting in a tent in his garden to raise cash to provide Christmas meals for Wolverhampton's homeless..
Mother Rachel said: "He has a natural passion for helping others. I’m so proud of his achievements and his attitude to other people – he really cares about making a difference to other people’s lives."