Eleven-year-old Ben Mooney from Crawfordsburn was recognised at this year’s Specsavers backed British Citizen Youth Awards (BCyA) for his extraordinary contribution to society, charities and good causes.

Ben, a Year 8 pupil at Campbell College was honoured for his efforts at a formal presentation held at the Palace of Westminster and attended by 120 guests including host, Rt. Hon. Lord Dholakia, patrons Dame Mary Perkins, Nicky Cox MBE and presenter Ashley Banjo.

Nominated by mum Pauline

Ben, the only medallist from Northern Ireland, was nominated by his mum Pauline.

‘During Ben’s early childhood he experienced a range of serious health issues including febrile convulsion and pneumonia. Whilst he has no memories of these illnesses Ben became aware at an early age how precious life is and how important being healthy is.

‘Ben started his charity challenges and fundraising efforts at the age of five and hasn’t looked back. One of Ben’s more recent challenges was a kilt walk in Dundee, Scotland. There is never a dull moment in our house!’

Ben’s other charity events have included a MS Santa dash, a Res Run for the Stroke Association and Clic Sargent’s Zombe Run. In 2018 Ben completed a High Point 10,000 metre mountain walking challenge for Cancer Focus NI.

Banjo Diversity star Ashley Banjo presents medal

Ben 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.

Well done, said Bangor Specsavers team

Congratulating Ben, Andrea Ridgway, store director of Specsavers in Bangor said, ‘It’s uplifting to hear about the amazing things that local young people are doing both within our community.

‘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.’

All Bangor store information