A TEENAGER who raised hundreds of pounds to help pay for a life-changing operation for his best friend has been honoured by his village.
Tom Sutton, 13, was given the Bishopthorpe Youth Award for the help he gave his best friend, Corey Eastwood, also 13, and his fundraising efforts.
As previously reported in The Press, Corey, of Dringhouses, was born with cerebral palsy, which affects his legs, and got around with the aid of a walker or, when tired, a wheelchair – which Tom would push.
Last year Tom and Corey, along with Corey’s twin sister Harriet, took part in a series of fundraising events to help raise the £25,000 needed for a procedure called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) to help Corey walk unaided for the first time.
Will Eastwood, Corey’s father, said the fundraisers, which also included a concert and auction hosted by Dunnington In Bloom, and Corey’s cousin completing the Three Peaks Challenge, helped pay for the operation.
Mr Eastwood said Corey, who has had the operation, is doing well and undergoing physiotherapy.
He said: “I didn’t know Tom had got this award, but I’m very pleased he has. He deserves it. He has made a massive difference towards helping Corey.”
Bishopthorpe parish councillor, Carole Green, said: “Tom was a very deserving winner of the award. It is given to someone who has done something special for their community and Tom has done just that.
“He helped push his pal in his wheelchair and raised hundreds of pounds to help pay for his operation. The two boys are really good friends and they competed in, and won, a school bridge competition together.”
Tom’s mum, Sally Sutton, of Bishopthorpe, said the boys, who are in Year 9 at Fulford School, have a great relationship.
She said: “The friendship is mutual. They are good buddies. Corey has been a good friend to Tom, they go biking together and they play sitting volleyball at Fulford. I’m proud of Tom for getting the award.”