TWO courageous youngsters who face daily challenges with strength and cheerfulness are the latest nominees for the Community Pride awards.

Twelve-year-old Ebony Whitehead and Cameron Lee, 11, have both been nominated for the Child of the Year award, by people impressed by their spirit and bravery.

Ebony, who lives in Riccall and is a student at Fulford High School, has cerebral palsy and uses an electric wheelchair to get around.

She has already been through one serious operation this year, and spent nine weeks in bed recovering from surgery on her legs, and is now facing the possibility of more time in hospital later this year.

But Ebony has been praised for the inspirational way she faces adversity.

Teacher Dan Bodey, who nominated Ebony for the award, said: "Ebony has made a stunning start to secondary school.

"She has become an incredibly popular member of the school with staff and students, and raised awareness of her condition through the creation of a short video about the difficulties of moving around busy corridors in her chair.

"Ebony has also managed a serious operation and returned to school full of enthusiasm and faced the physical adversity of her recovery brilliantly. She is an asset to the school and an inspiration to all."

Mum Sam Morris said Ebony is always smiling and lives by the motto "Could be worse".

Meanwhile Cameron Lee has been nominated by staff at SNAPPY - the special needs play centre in York.

Cameron, who has autism and ADHD, faced bullying but has battled back, and staff at SNAPPY say they are proud of his courage and spirit.

His nomination said: "Cameron has shown great bravery this year. He has had to overcome bullying and adversity. He had been on a difficult journey and his confidence has really taken a blow. Bit by bit and with support from a loving family he is showing signs of recovery. We at SNAPPY have seen these changes and are so proud of him."

Cameron's cheerfulness and spirit has made him many friends among the staff and children at SNAPPY, and he is well known for helping others.

Service manager Anne Stamp added: "He's a lovely lad, and he's coped so well. He's got a lovely heart, and always helps the little ones at SNAPPY."

The Community Pride awards have two categories aimed at recognising brave, inspirational and selfless youngsters - the Child of the Year award for 12-year-olds and unders, and the Spirit of Youth award for 13-18s.

To make a nomination write to Paula Homer, PA to the editor, The Press, 76-86 Walmgate, York YO1 9YN before Friday, July 18, with details including a supporting statement of no more than two sides of A4 with each nomination. You may also include a picture, which unfortunately we will be unable to return.

Or a nominations can be made online at