Harry wins first Emley community award

Olympic torchbearer Harry Crowther has won the first Emley Award.
Olympic torchbearer Harry Crowther has won the first Emley Award.
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A courageous teenager who suffers from a rare ageing disorder has been picked as the first winner of a new community award.

The judges of The Emleys community awards were impressed with Harry Crowther’s positive outlook and determination to live life to the full.

Harry, 14, of Mirfield, has a rare form of genetic disorder Progeria, which means he is ageing five times faster than his contemporaries.

It means he has many of the arthritic, cardiovascular and respiratory ailments more common to old age. Last year he was picked to carry the Olympic Torch through Wakefield and has visited schools, care homes and events, showing the torch and raising awareness about his condition to more than 5,000 people - as well as raising money for charities Progeria UK, Progeria Family Circle and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Dewsbury and Mirfield MP Simon Reevell, who organised the awards, said: “We received a large number of nominations, all of a very high standard, which made the judging panel’s decision incredibly tough to make. We were all so impressed by Harry’s uncomplaining attitude, courage in meeting the challenges he has faced and remarkable achievements, that we unanimously concluded that he was a very worthy winner.”

Harry will receive his award at a ceremony on top of Emley Moor Mast next Friday.

Three community heroes were also recognised in the awards, Highly Commended by judges, including Reporter editor Hannah Ridgeway. Peter Jagger was nominated for his dedication to Upper Hopton, particularly at the Cricket Club, Anne Thornton for her contribution to a variety of groups including the disabled People’s Electronic Village Hall and Dewsbury West Community Centre and Pat Ainsworth for her marathon running and fundraising achievements. All were highly commended.

Mr Reevell said: “It is really inspiring to know that there are so many people who are quietly and generously putting so much time and energy into their communities.”