A new initiative has been launched on the Costa del Sol to find young unsung heroes that have committed acts of incredible courage, or who have performed charitable acts in order to help others. Under the banner of The Young Heroes' Award, the public will be asked to nominate children up to the age of 14 that have improved the lives of people around them by working as a force for good in their local community.
The new enterprise is based on the Pride of Britain Awards, a campaign that rewards individuals for battling against the odds to help others, or those who put themselves at risk to assist other people.
The Young Heroes' Award was the idea of Pauline Hulme, musical director of the local amateur theatre group A Touch of Class. The former professional dancer and choreographer from Liverpool came to live on the coast in 2012 and has since worked tirelessly to raise money for local charities and organisations. She had become concerned about the amount of bad publicity the younger generation were receiving and so she decided to try to prove that "not all youngsters are inconsiderate".
"I had seen so many bad things about youngsters on the news and in the press, but I thought that there are a lot of good ones out there and I wanted to shine a light on them. The idea came about after I had been watching the Pride of Britain Awards, and I thought if they can do it in Britain we could do it here as well," Pauline told to SUR in English.
In order to get the project off the ground, Pauline approached Father Nigel Stimpson from St Andrew's Chaplaincy in Fuengirola and Father Juan of the San Miguel Church in Calahonda; both have promised their support. She also intends to secure the help of La Cala de Mijas Lions Club, an association that has been supportive of previous charitable projects in which Pauline has been involved. She is also appealing for the support of, and donations from, other local organisations, as well as the help of the public in choosing suitable candidates for consideration.
The project will be limited to a maximum of 25 nominees and people can suggest children of any nationality. There will be a prize for one foreign and one Spanish 'unsung hero', although Pauline hopes to be able to offer a small gift for all children that are nominated. She is currently looking for a star celebrity guest to present the awards at a special gala that will be held in the San Miguel Church in Calahonda on Saturday 19 October. The winners, who will be "celebrities for a day", will receive a commemorative trophy, a monetary prize and a selection of cinema tickets and passes to local attraction parks.
"I hope this is successful because it's something that is very close to my heart and I want it to become an annual event. There must be many young children who do wonderful things that never get recognised, so it will be nice to give recognition to those who genuinely deserve it. If children do a completely selfless act for somebody else, it needs to be highlighted," Pauline said.
Nominations for the Young Heroes' Award can be made on firstname.lastname@example.org