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Alford Scout presented with honour for overcoming adversity and supporting charity

By Kyle Ritchie

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An Alford Scout has been awarded one of the highest accolades in the youth organisation in recognition of overcoming a huge personal challenge and raising thousands of pounds for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

North east regional commissioner Dougie Simmers presented Theo Harvey (13) with the Cornwell Scout Badge, which is awarded in respect of pre-eminently high character and devotion to duty, together with great courage and endurance.

Theo was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016 and had to undergo extensive surgery to remove it, which led to him losing his sight.

However, determined as ever to keep going, he has kept up with local Scouting, which due to the pandemic is now held over Zoom.

He has been able to engage in adventurous activities and camps over the years alongside fundraising for Guide Dogs for the Blind through craft fayres, sponsored cycling and other events, raising more than £7500.

Theo Harvey has been presented with the Cornwell Scout Badge.
Theo Harvey has been presented with the Cornwell Scout Badge.

Theo’s father and local volunteer David said “Theo faces many challenges on a daily basis due to a number of medical conditions he has at the moment, but he continues to be active in his Scout group and fundraises when he is well enough.

"Theo is truly a local hero to me, he is so dedicated to fundraising for the Guide Dogs for the Blind.”

The Cornwell Scout Badge is awarded to young people in the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorer Scouts and Scout Network Members.

John "Jack" Travers Cornwell, a Scout in the St Mary’s Mission Group, Manor Park, London, entered the Royal Navy in 1915. It was wartime and training was brief, but Jack, helped by his days in Scouting, was able to adapt quickly.

On May 31, 1916, while serving on HMS Chester, Jack was struck by a shell splinter. Grievously wounded, he stayed at his post awaiting orders until he was relieved at the end of the battle.

On reaching port, Jack was transferred to a hospital in Grimsby and three days later he died a national hero.

For gallantry he was given both the Victoria Cross and the highest Scouting award, the Bronze Cross. To commemorate the courage shown by Jack, The Scout Association created The Cornwell Scout Badge in his memory.

Mr Simmers said: "Theo continues to do Scouting locally, albeit it is now over Zoom, when he is able to do so.

"He is truly an inspirational young person, who has faced extraordinary challenges but continues to put the skills for life into practice with his group.

"In recognition of his own personal challenges and his fantastic fundraising for Guide Dogs for the Blind, I was delighted to present Theo with one of the most prestigious awards our organisation has to offer."

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