4Uth 2019 winners
Jake Ramsay, 18, Balderton
Jake was nominated for this award because of the way he has overcome barriers presented by a learning disability and the impact of bereavement, to take on a much-valued role as a community volunteer.
Annie Tait, who nominated Jake, is just 14, the youngest person to ever nominate a 4Uth winner. She is a Member of the UK Youth Parliament for the Nottinghamshire Pioneers.
Annie explains: “At a very young age, despite having severe learning difficulties, Jake helped with the care needs of his mother who he sadly lost through cancer. He moved in with a carer who also unfortunately died, due to cancer.
“Jake then moved into a long-term foster placement with strangers, away from his home town. He had to adjust to this new situation, as well as coming to terms with the grief and trauma in his past. To help with this, Jake set up and ran cake stalls on several occasions, outside his home, to help to raise money for cancer research.”
Because of learning difficulties and being on the autistic spectrum, Jake struggles with reading, writing and retaining information. However, determined to become an active member of the Newark Community First Aid Group, he sat first-aid exams, over two days, with non-disabled students. He passed almost all the exams, so that he could become an active volunteer.
Annie continues: “Jake’s learning difficulties and autism meant he needed to attend a local special needs school. This meant having to overcome more barriers because of his inability to learn as easily as his neuro-typical peers. He has now left school and is in college. Jake continues to inspire us by the way he thrives and wants to improve, both physically and mentally, through his college work as well as all the things he achieves in his free time.
“Jake also decided that he wanted to help his local community in other ways. Every week he attends the local disability swimming club, helping and supporting other young people with special educational needs during their swimming lessons. He volunteers at the local Boys Brigade club, where he enthusiastically gives assistance and help wherever it is needed.
“As well as attending regular ongoing training every week for the Newark Community First Aid Group, Jake also attends local community events most weekends as a volunteer First Aider. He has helped at: Newark rugby club football matches, Newark Shows, and school tournaments.
Annie concludes: “Over the years, having to overcome grief and loss, Jake became an angry and frustrated young man. However, through fundraising and his commitment to help his local community and environment, he has become a lovely kind and helpful young man who has matured into an outstanding citizen. He spreads positive vibes wherever he goes.”
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People Committee, said: “Jake has done so much to help his community, and to overcome loss. He is a very worthy recipient of this year’s 4Uth awards.”