An inspirational mother and her son have been nominated for this year’s Best of Northumberland Awards – ahead of the deadline for entries, which closes tomorrow.
Lesley Cole has been put forward for the Community Champion category, while 10-year-old Harrison has been nominated for the Child of Achievement prize.
The pair, from Cramlington, work incredibly hard to raise awareness of autism and other hidden disabilities.
Harrison has autism and ADHD, while his younger brother Beau, five, also has autism.
Despite his disabilities, plucky Harrison is determined to educate others about his condition.
Recently, he launched a video highlighting his hidden problems, which received more than 60,000 views in just three days. He has managed to put his own extreme anxieties to one side to do several interviews and radio shows to try to promote awareness of his condition.
Harrison has also run a SK Colour run to help raise funds for charity, helping others with autism.
Lesley said: “He is a selfless young man who really wants the world to see him for the person he is – not his disabilities. He really is an inspiration.”
The word inspiration can also be used for Lesley. Both her children have autism and Lesley has been inspired to set up Autism Northumberland. The charity, which was officially launched in 2014, offers support and services to families affected by autism.
It helps hundreds of people from around the North East with events, training, support groups, after-school clubs, friendship services, sibling support and so much more. Lesley works tirelessly to raise awareness of autism in the community and helps in any way she can. Through her dedication, the charity has raised more than £50,000.
Lesley, who is married to Michael, said she was touched to be nominated. For more information about the charity, visit autismnorthumberland.co.uk
Lesley and Harrison are two of a number of individuals – as well as groups – to be nominated for this year’s Best Of awards, across the various categories.
But there is still time to nominate somebody for the awards – organised by North East Press (publishers of the Northumberland Gazette, Morpeth Herald, News Post Leader) and Tweeddale Press’s Berwick Advertiser – with the deadline closing tomorrow.
The awards ceremony takes place on September 15 at Linden Hall, Longhorsley.
See today’s Northumberland Gazette for an entry form and information about how to enter.