YOUNG people battling adversity and doing all they can to help others are being celebrated for their inspirational spirit.

Manor School pupil Nioni Faye Grant and dedicated volunteer Luke Farley have both been nominated for The Press's Community Pride awards, in the Spirit of Youth category.

Nioni, 16, is fighting acute myeloid leukaemia and this year has been through three rounds of gruelling chemotherapy and is facing more treatment including a stem cell transplant.

She has been put forward for the award by close friend Victoria Henderson, who said: "Nioni has battled this illness with courage and always has a smile on her face, despite her pain. It's humbling being in her presence. A beautiful girl who deserves to be recognised."

Victoria said her friend had been in hospital in Leeds almost constantly since her diagnosis, with only a few trips home to see friends and family and, last week, went to her school prom and celebrated the end of her school career in style.

Up for the award beside Nioni is 18-year-old Luke Farley.

Volunteer Luke has sat as a panel member on York's Children in Care Council for almost four years.

It began when he was asked to take part in the "Show me that I matter" project for looked-after children.

His nomination, which comes from the Rights and Advocacy team at the council, said: "Luke has given his time endlessly to help promote the rights and involvement of children and young people in care and is committed to helping improve the services children and young can expect to receive when they are looked after by the City of York Council."

The selfless youngster has volunteered to sit on committees, attend meetings of the Corporate Parenting Board, and represent York's Children in Care council both regional and nationally, and has helped develop a special website for children in care.

The nomination added: "Luke is the first to volunteer his time and is always enthusiastic in his approach to improving services and increasing the awareness and participation of other children and young people in care."

Now the former Archbishop Holgate's student is getting ready to head to university in Aberystwyth to study IT, and the advocacy team have praised his hard work, determination and commitment, and wished him well for his future.

The Community Pride awards are run by The Press and City of York Council and sponsored by Benenden Health.

For more information or to make a nomination, go to