Westminster honour for Worksop youngster who inspires others

Ashley Banjo with Nicky Cox, of kids newspaper First News, and Bailey at the formal presentation.
Ashley Banjo with Nicky Cox, of kids newspaper First News, and Bailey at the formal presentation.

A young boy from Worksop is among 24 inspirational youngsters to be honoured in recognition of their extraordinary contribution to society, charities and good causes.

Ten-year-old Bailey Matthews has been presented with a British Citizen Youth Award (BCyA) medal during a formal presentation held at the Palace of Westminster.

Now in its second year, the BCyA, in association with Specsavers, highlights acts of bravery, kindness and compassion by young people across the UK.

Bailey previously won the hearts of the nation when he completed his first ever triathlon as an eight-year-old, despite having been diagnosed with cerebral palsy from an early age.

It all began when Bailey began attending the Park Run at his local park with his dad, Jonathan Matthews. At first, Bailey would be pushed around the course, but he soon wanted to complete it himself and, once he’d mastered that, he wanted to swim too.

Two years later, Bailey continues to run triathlons on a regular basis, but he also spends his spare time working on the Be More Bailey Foundation, a charity he helped set up to provide the opportunity for other disabled children to benefit from taking part in triathlon sports.

The charity provides grants towards the specialist equipment that disabled children may need to enable them to participate, and works to make triathlon events more accessible for disabled competitors.

Jonathan said: “Bailey is an absolutely unique young man. He has achieved so many wonderful things but it’s all just him being himself.

“The Be More Bailey Foundation is really important to him and he has spent hours building the foundation’s website himself, as his way of helping others achieve the things that he has done.”

Bailey received his BCyA medal from Ashley Banjo, creative director and lead dancer of Britain’s Got Talent dance troupe Diversity.

Ashley said: “What a fantastic way to recognise these young people that have made a difference to their communities up and down the UK.”