Iggy Just from Silverknowes, Edinburgh was recognised at this year’s British Citizen Youth Award (BCyA) for his extraordinary contribution to society, charities and good causes.
Iggy was among 23 inspiring youngsters across the UK that were honoured for their efforts at a formal presentation held at the Palace of Westminster on Thursday 18th October, attended by 120 guests including host, Rt. Hon. Lord Dholakia, patrons Dame Mary Perkins, Nicky Cox MBE and presenter Ashley Banjo.
Now in its third year, the BCyA, in association with Specsavers, highlights individual acts of bravery, kindness and compassion from young people across the UK.
Six year old Iggy is a young carer for his Grandad John who has Alzheimer’s. After being diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s at aged 64, Iggy’s family decided to move into the flat below Grandad to care for him round the clock when Iggy was only a few months old.
Due to cognitive impairment, Iggy’s Grandad forgot how to take nightly medication and would chew the tablets or point blank refuse to take them. But now under Iggy’s direction, Grandad now manages to take his vital medication correctly.
Last year, Iggy completed a 5k walk raising £650 for Alzheimer’s Scotland and plans to set up a JustGiving page this year for his friends and family to make donations to the charity rather than buy him gifts for this seventh birthday.
Natasha Collins-Just, Iggy’s mum, said: ‘We like to call Iggy our secret weapon. If we want my dad to do something, we get Iggy to ask him. If dad is being hostile, Iggy just says to say ‘Grandad’ and put his hands on his chest to diffuse the situation.
‘Music is extremely powerful in helping relieve anxiety in dementia patients and Iggy and dad love nothing more than listening to music from the 50’s and 60’s.
‘Iggy remains an integral part of his Grandads journey and his love, affection and care are far more effective that any prescribed medication.’
Iggy received his BCyA medal from Ashley Banjo, creative director and lead dancer of Diversity, whose dance troupe won the third series of Britain’s Got Talent.
A word from the store director
Adam Gordon, store director of Specsavers Corstorphine, said: ‘As a partner of the British Citizen Youth Awards, it is always uplifting to hear about the amazing things that local young people are doing both within our community and across the UK.
‘Whether it be raising money for charity or helping those in need, we want to grow awareness of these achievements and inspire the next generation of children to make a similarly positive impact on society.’