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News | 27 September 2022

Chief Scout congratulates Unsung Heroes at Birmingham awards day


Chief Scout, Bear Grylls congratulated his Unsung Heroes at a special event on Friday 23 September at the Bear Grylls Adventure Centre at the NEC, in Birmingham.

Chief Scout Bear Grylls stands with Scout Jonathan. They're both smiling at the camera and Jonathan is holding his congratulation certificate.
Bear and Jonathan, 14, who was chosen as an Unsung Hero for his fundraising activities

The 21 Unsung Heroes, all aged between 4 and 21, were recognised for their achievements including saving lives, fundraising, and showing strength in adversity. Each received a £500 prize from Bear, along with a signed certificate and a Never Give Up badge and neckerchief.

As well as meeting Bear, the Scouts got to bring their parents, carers, and other family members with them to try a range of activities at the centre including snorkelling, indoor freefall, archery and high ropes.

  • Zaynab, 18+
  • Izzy, 18
  • Kieran, 17
  • Samuel, 17
  • Nicole, 17
  • Liam, 12
  • Lexie, 13
  • Isabelle, 12
  • Jonathan, 14
  • Leo, 13
  • Emily, 10
  • Neo, 10
  • Ben, 9
  • Liliane, 8
  • Henry, 8
  • Millie, 8
  • Lennox, 7
  • Ella, 6
  • Edward, 4
  • Isaac, 4
  • Marshall, 4
Bear poses with a Squirrel wearing a red jumper, while holding up a certificate.
Bear with Edward, 4, who helped organise a sponsored scoot, cycle, walk, or run

Above and beyond

The Scouts all did remarkable things over the past year, going above and beyond, demonstrating Scout values and supporting their community.

Squirrel Scout, Marshall, aged 4, from Leeds was one of the youngest of the Unsung Heroes. He put his new skills to the test when his mum fell down the stairs and needed medical help. Jacqui, his mum said: ‘I had never thought about teaching Marshall first aid at such a young age. I am so grateful to Squirrels for teaching him these skills. When I fell, Marshall knew exactly what to do: he acted quickly and was very calm. Squirrels has taught him important skills and I’m very thankful to them.’

Jonathan, 14 from Acton in London, meanwhile, was being honoured for his fundraising activities. As a young person with autism, he has balance and coordination difficulties, and was told by doctors that he would never ride a bike. Taught to ride by his dad in the 2020 lockdown, in August 2021, Jonathan cycled over 1,000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 21 days to help raise over £12k towards the refurbishment of his Group’s Scout Hut. He overcame many set-backs, including the theft of his bike two weeks before the expedition. Bear said: ‘Jonathan has shown bucket loads of true Scout values and he never gives up.’

Chief Scout Bear Grylls stands with Scout volunteer Zaynab. Both are smiling at the camera and wearing neckers, and Bear holds a certificate saying 'congratulations.'
Bear with Zaynab Ali, a Scout volunteer and one of his Unsung Heroes 2022

Zaynab, a young volunteer in Birmingham was a winner for her outstanding contribution as host for Basecamp 22, a conference for over 600 Scout volunteers in Manchester in May 2022. She hosted both the daytime programme and the evening awards. Her positivity, confidence, good humour and clear presentation skills contributed a huge amount to the success of the event.

Edward, aged 4, helped to organise some other Squirrels to get involved in a sponsored scoot, cycle, walk, or run to fundraise for the Childhood Tumour Trust. The Squirrels that joined in covered 75km and raised over £100! Edward covered just over 18km of this himself. Well done Edward and all your friends in Squirrels.

Bear Grylls poses with an Explorer while holding up a certificate.
Bear with Kieran, 17, who was chosen as an Unsung Hero for potentially saving a man's life

Kieran, 17, took control of a dangerous situation, and potentially saved a life. While out with friends he saw a man in distress. Kieran showed maturity beyond his years, calling an ambulance and the police. He also urged passers-by to keep their distance and to flag the ambulance to their position and keep talking to his patient to reduce his distress. He did all this while being mindful of Covid restrictions and keeping his distance.

Nicole, 17, speaks at medical events and summits to raise awareness of young people with illness. In her free time she also helps run a local running club and often organises and marshals events.

Bear Grylls poses with an Explorer while holding up a certificate.
Bear with Nicole, 17, who raises awareness of young people with illness

Another winner, Neo, aged 10, set up Treats For Kids in 2020 when he realised children were going through a tough time in the pandemic. Through his Treats For Kids appeals he’s donated nearly 6,000 treats to children in Essex and East London. Following an invitation to speak by the Chair of his local Rotary club, Neo presented his vision to Rotary members who contributed to his appeal.

Liliane, a Cub Scout aged 8, from Northampton was recognised for her community and fundraising activities. She walked 100 miles raising over £1,100 for the Epilepsy Society. She then held a ‘purple day’ at her school raising awareness of epilepsy, raising another £250. Last Christmas, she shared her story, designed a Christmas card and fronted the Epilepsy Society’s Christmas campaign raising £40k for charity. She never stops smiling.

A proud Chief Scout

‘I’m so proud of these remarkable young people, said Bear. ‘They’ve shown grit, determination and a true never give up spirit. To me they’re all such deserving Unsung Heroes, who continue to use their skills, kindness and courage to help others. They’re an inspiration to me and everyone around them.’

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