Duo are true champions!

Champion Child nominee Max Ackroyd
Champion Child nominee Max Ackroyd

A selfless teenager who volunteers to bring music to hospital wards, and a baby who beat the odds have been nominated for a Reporter Series Champion Children Award.

The awards recognise courageous, brave and charitable youngsters.

Champion Child nominee Max Ackroyd

Champion Child nominee Max Ackroyd

People like 15-year-old Janey Gregory, who was nominated by her assistant principal at Manor Croft Academy, Andy Cox.

Janey, of Hanging Heaton, has been playing piano for patients at the Priestley Unit, Dewsbury and District Hospital, for two years. She also volunteers at Batley Mencap.

In his nomination, Mr Cox said was a “fantastic role model.” He said: “Her positive attitude has also been evident in the local community.

“Her commitment to the hospital has never waned over this time. The patients have benefited enormously and it is testament to Janey that she is able to offer a small piece of joy to people that are facing struggles of their own.”

Janey Gregory, who has been nominated for a Champion Children award for the volunteering she does playing piano at Dewsbury Hospital.  (d613a348)

Janey Gregory, who has been nominated for a Champion Children award for the volunteering she does playing piano at Dewsbury Hospital. (d613a348)

The odds were stacked against little Max Ackroyd when he was born almost three months early.

Doctors expected Max to be on a breathing machine for months, but he was home within six weeks and wasn’t suffering from sight problems which mum Danielle and dad Paul had been warned about.

Max recovered from a bleed in the brain without any treatment, and had to endure a hernia operation before he was even supposed to have been born.

Now eight months old, he is slightly behind in his development, but his fighting spirit has made him an inspiration to his parents and medical staff.

Mrs Ackroyd, of Hillhead Drive, Birstall, said: “Doctors did all they could to stop the labour but Max, being Max, decided he was coming regardless. He is such an inspiration, and I really believe that if he didn’t have his amazing fighting spirit, solid bravery and endless determination, he would not be here now, and certainly not thriving the way he is.”

Time is almost out to nominate a Champion Child. Write to tell us about what makes them special. Include the child’s name, age, address and their parent or guardian’s daytime contact number. Mark nominations ‘Champion Children 2013’ and send them to editorial@wakefieldexpress.co.uk. Deadline for entries is November 29.