Youth Endeavour Award presented for bravery and determination

Jack Gilbert and Alan Pearson

Published: Friday 24th May 2024 | 3.57pm

Each year Cannock Chase Council recognises the achievements of young people within the District by awarding the Youth Endeavour Award.  This award provides an opportunity to recognise and reward some of the positive achievements and contributions that are made by our young people.  

This year's award was presented to Jack Gilbert from Kingsmead School, who was nominated by Miss Hinton, Year 10 Progress Leader at Kingsmead School.

Miss Hinton in her nomination said "Jack suffers with Scoliosis which is a daily struggle for him and can impact upon his day-to-day life.  He loves music; this is one of his GCSE subjects and has had to adapt to play different instruments due to the issues he has had linked with his physical health. This has never stopped him and he has continued to show bags of resilience, adapt and change to make sure his GCSE’s do not suffer.

"Jack is always in school, and he copes well with this. He never complains, and is there with a fantastic attitude, a smile on his face, and is such a kind and caring young man. He always tries his best and is on track to achieve his targeted grades in his GCSE subjects.

"Things became a bit more difficult during December, when Jack had to visit a specialist in Liverpool after they found fluid on the base of his brain and down his spine. Jack had to undergo numerous scans on his brain and spine to determine the severity of this, alongside travelling to meet with specialists in Liverpool.

"In February, Jack had to undergo intensive surgery. The surgeons operated on the base of his brain, removed vertebrae and skull bone which then allowed the fluid to move around normally.  After being talked through this massive operation and being informed about what was going to happen, the only thing Jack was worried about was the blood tests he was going to have done! A true reflection of the resilience of character shown by him. After the successful operation, Jack was in a lot of pain and was suffering from horrific migraines. The surgeons described it as one of the most painful surgeries you can ever go through.

"Less than two weeks later (despite not being able to come back into school) and still recuperating Jack was completing work at home.  As soon as he was able to Jack came back into school and has got stuck in with his work, catching up on what he has missed, attending revision sessions and trying his best with his recent mock exams. Jack always takes the time to ask members of staff how their day has been, again showing his lovely personality. This has never wavered during this very testing time, and he is a more than worthy nominee for this award and an asset to my year group and the school community as a whole. I am very honoured to have someone like Jack as part of my year group."

Outgoing Chairman Alan Pearson said "Whilst it is never an easy job to choose a winner for this award, Jack’s nomination stood out.  It is clear that he, and his family, have been though a very difficult and worrying time, yet I was astounded by the bravery of Jack and his determination to not let the difficulties he has, and continues to face, hold him back, and how wonderful to hear that he is on track to succeed at his GCSEs and we wish Jack luck in these.

"I am honoured to not only have the opportunity to meet Jack and his family, but to also be able to present a very caring and kind young man with this award.  Jack is a role model in our community!"

Outgoing Chairman Alan Pearson presented Jack with a trophy and a cheque for £50 at the Annual Council meeting on Wednesday 22 May.

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