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James, 12, wins award for his fab fundraising

James and Dylan Duell. Photo: Alan Walters.
James and Dylan Duell. Photo: Alan Walters.

Fundraiser James Duell who has raised thousands of pounds for Thorpe Hall Hospice in memory of his mum, has won an award for his outstanding achievements.

James, 12, a Year 8 pupil at Casterton Business and Enterprise College has been recognised for his fundraising efforts as part of the Rutland Youth Awards 2015.

Both James and his brother Dylan, nine, from Exton, have raised so far a total of £2,834 for Thorpe Hall, in memory of their mum, Michelle Beniston, 33, who sadly died from cancer in October.

Mum of four, Michelle spent her last few days being cared for at the hospice in Longthorpe, Peterborough.

The hospice helped support James and his siblings, Dylan, nine, Megan, seven, and Martha, nine months, during their mum’s illness.

James, who was nominated for the award of benefitting the community by the school council at Casterton Business and Enterprise College, was up against six other nominees in his category who had been selected by the Rutland Youth Council.

In total, 19 nominees attended the awards ceremony held at Rutland County Museum on March 23, who had been nominated for their exceptional achievements.

On the night there were three award categories: benefitting the community, overcoming adversity and participation, of which James won the award in his category.

James said: “It’s amazing to win. I really didn’t think I was going to win as I was up against so many other people. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who nominated me and I hope to continue raising lots of money for Thorpe Hall.”

James was presented with his award, along with £100 in Love2shop vouchers, a prize which he has decided to share with his younger brother, Dylan. He said: “I wanted to share the prize money with Dylan, he deserves it.

“We’re both going to go to the shops and buy something together.”

James’ dad, Paul was there on the night to watch James receive his award, he said: “I’m really proud. This is something that has given both of the boys joy in doing.

“For them, it has always been about helping others that have helped their mum.”

Along with James, Connor Eltringham, 13, won the award for overcoming adversity and Abigail Hadden, 14, won the award for participation.

Although the pair have already raised an incredible amount of money, James and Dylan don’t have any plans on stopping their fundraising efforts.

They have already organised a charity cycle ride around Rutland Water during the summer, which they will be collecting sponsors for in the near future. Their sister, Megan, seven, has also expressed an interest in helping her two brothers raise lots of money for the hospice.

Thorpe Hall’s community fundraiser, Kirsty Clipston said: “James and his family have done amazingly well with their fundraising, they really are an inspiration. It’s lovely that James has been recognised for all the hard work he has put into raising money for us in memory of his mum, Michelle.”

To make a donation please visit: http://michelle.beniston.muchloved.com/


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