A north-east boy who lost his sight after having a brain tumour removed has received a gallantry award for “great courage and endurance”.
Theo Harvey, from Alford, received the Cornwell Scout Badge, one of the organisation’s highest accolades, in recognition of overcoming life-changing challenges and raising thousands of pounds for Guide Dogs.
A member of 1st Alford Scout Group, 13-year-old Theo was diagnosed with a brain tumour on his optical nerve in late 2016.
He underwent surgery to remove the tumour, but due to the position of the tumour he suffered complete and irretrievable sight loss.
Despite having his world turned upside down, Theo was determined to get on with things.
Since losing his sight he has been able to take part in adventurous activities and camps, alongside fundraising for Guide Dogs through craft fayres, sponsored cycling and other events, raising over £7,500.
He hopes to be placed with a dog of his own in the future to increase his independence.
Theo’s father, 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 fundraise when he is well enough.
“Theo is truly a local hero to me, he is so dedicated to fundraising for Guide Dogs.”
Regional commissioner for the Scouts, Dougie 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, I was delighted to present Theo with one of the most prestigious awards our organisation has to offer.”
Theo also received a Young Animal Hero award at last year’s The Mirror Animal Hero Awards for his efforts in raising money for guide dogs.
Sal Chapman of Guide Dogs said: “Theo is just a superhero, an absolute legend.
“His tenacity is incredible.
“To go through everything he has at such a young age, most adults would have thrown in the towel, but Theo just carries on.
“We need more Theos in this world.”
The Cornwell Scout Badge is awarded “in respect of pre-eminently high character and devotion to duty, together with great courage and endurance.”
It is named after John ‘Jack’ Cornwell, a Scout who was struck by a shell splinter while serving with the Royal Navy during the First World War.
Grievously wounded, he stayed at his post awaiting orders until he was relieved at the end of battle.
On reaching port, Jack was transferred to a hospital in Grimsby and three days later died a national hero.
For his gallantry he was given both the Victoria Cross and the highest Scouting award, the Bronze Cross.