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Celebrating the bravery of young people with Mansfield Rotary Club's Courage Awards 2024



Inspirational children and young people who have had to overcome adversity to succeed against the odds were honoured at the Mansfield Courage Awards on 12th March 2024.

Ten recipients of the awards were nominated by their school or college for “exemplifying moral and spiritual courage in the face of difficulty”. Now in its 33rd year, the event was hosted at Portland College, Mansfield, in front of the young people’s families and teachers. The 10 young people were congratulated by the mayor of Mansfield, Andy Abrahams, the president of Mansfield Rotary, Rotn Kelvin Bowman, and special guest, Rotn Richard Vegette, governor of Rotary District 1220.They all demonstrated the message that whatever is thrown your way, you can do things, you can succeed, and you can achieve — and success is measured by your own rules, you don’t have to conform to what society tells you is success. It might be overcoming anxieties, living with serious illnesses, coping with an accident or incident, or even simply raising a smile.

H W Martin Waste Limited have sponsored these awards for many years now and this year we were proud to support nominee Finlay Brown from Brunts Academy.

Courageous Finlay Brown has been nominated for finding the resilience and determination to carry on over the past 18 months, despite losing his mum when he was just 13. Helen Leaning, head of year at The Brunt Academy, explained how Finlay’s mum had a brain tumour and he saw her fade over several months. This impacted the teenager in a big way, and he is only now starting to understand the impact of losing his mum and coming to terms with what has happened. But Helen said Finlay’s mum would be proud of the person he has become. “Finlay, you are an amazing young man,” she said. “I know that the past 18 months have stopped you from seeing that, but you are a fighter, with a heart of gold, and you should be so proud of how you have dealt with what has happened. “Keep fighting young man because you have so much to fight for. “Even on the days when he feels like giving up and wants the world to end, Finlay still gets up and finds the resilience and determination to carry on. “Finlay has faced something no 13-year-old should have to face and his mum would be so proud of him,” said Helen. “He fights every day to be the strong, kind, caring and warm-hearted person that his mum and dad saw, and continue to see, in him daily. “This past 18 months has been so hard. Finlay struggles every day just to do the small stuff, like get dressed, attend school, and play football, which he absolutely loves. Yet he still tries! “In the future Finlay is aiming to make his parents proud and get through each day, one at a time.

Casey Sly who attended the event on behalf of H W Martin Waste said ‘I have attended this event for many years now and every year brings different stories – it is such a humbling afternoon and these young people really do deserve to be recognised. What they have had to go through at such a young age is unimaginable. We were really proud to sponsor Finlay Brown this year and we wish him every success as he continues with his education at this challenging time.’