Photo: Jake Walker (left) on an SSAFA fundraising walk with veteran Anthony Lock, who inspired his fundraising efforts.
Cirencester College Uniformed Public Services student Jake Walker has been awarded the Nairac Youth Award by the Royal Society of St. George.
The annual awards are normally presented by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire during the St. George’s Day Service organised by the Gloucestershire Branch of The Royal Society of St. George. Despite the event being cancelled due to coronavirus, the branch still awarded four winners with an Award cheque for their chosen charity.
Usually only two Awards are given out, but the Branch committee was so impressed by four of the nominees that they gave each of them an Award.
Jake’s citation from the Royal Society of St. George read: “Jake is a corporal with B Company Army Cadets who received an award for outstanding first aid when he saved his friend’s life while in France in a swimming pool. Jake has a history of helping and raising money for charitable events. After reading ‘Broken by War’ by Anthony Lock, about a soldier injured in Afghanistan, he organised a walk from Gloucester to Weston-Super-Mare (65 miles nonstop) to raise money for SSAFA (the Armed Forces Charity). Jake completed the walk in 23 hours, raising over £6000.
Also, in August 2019 he raised money for a memorial stone to be made and laid at a military remembrance garden for Pte Daniel Wade, one of the Warrior Six killed in Afghanistan. He represented SSAFA at the Remembrance Rugby Match in November 2019 and spoke to thousands of people on the importance of our veterans and soldiers.”
Jake said: “To be awarded the Nairac award is not only humbling but makes me very proud and emotional. After reading the book ‘Broken By War’ by Anthony Lock, I have gained a great understanding of what our service men and woman veterans endure in and out of service. I have so much respect for them and want to help raise funds and awareness so they always get the support and respect that they all so deserve.”
Mrs. Pat Ayres, M.B.E., Gloucestershire Branch Chair, says: “Once again we are delighted to recognise exceptional Gloucestershire youngsters through the Annual Nairac Awards. That we felt we should give four Awards this year, instead of the usual two, reflects how many wonderful young people there are in this county. The youngsters receiving the 2020 Awards are inspirational and set excellent examples through their achievements.”
Sixteen year old Jake has donated his Award cheque to The Not Forgotten Charity, which for 100 years has supported ex-service personnel with disabilities or who are wounded. “I have chosen The Not Forgotten Charity as they are awesome in giving Veterans/Soldiers the opportunity to not only believe in themselves again, but to live again and overcome many obstacles.”
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