This Brighton teenager deserves a big bear hug for her selfless work.
Izzi Hickmott, 16, was selected by the Build-A-Bear Workshop in the shop’s annual search for Huggable Heroes.
The award is handed to someone who gives up their time to work in the community for others.
Miss Hickmott was one of 48 global finalists selected for the award and is now one of two youngsters from Britain shortlisted.
As a result she has picked up a £3,000 educational scholarship and a £1,500 donation for a registered charity of her choosing.
Diagnosed with Type one diabetes aged 10, Miss Hickmott became eager to share her experiences to help others.
On the condition, she said: “Living with Type one diabetes is a constant struggle as you never get a day off worrying, calculating insulin doses and testing.
“I know I will have to do this for the rest of my life.
“I just hope that in my lifetime there will be a cure so diabetes sufferers can get back to living the sort of life most people take for granted.”
In addition to supporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) through fundraising, she has become an advocate in supporting other youngsters with type one diabetes.
She has also collaborated with local council officials and representatives from the NHS to put in place relevant and proper support for type one young people in schools. This has included mentoring.
Build-A-Bear Workshop launched the Huggable Heroes programme in 2004 as a way to acknowledge young people for outstanding community service efforts.
The 2014 Huggable Heroes contest was open to children from ages eight to 18 in the US, Canada and the UK.
More than 500 nominations were received which were narrowed down to the finalists in July.
An independent judging team oversaw the selection of the ten Huggable Heroes.
Gina Collins, from Build-A-Bear Workshop, said: “Young and inspiring leaders like Izzi Hickmott embody what Huggable Heroes is all about – children demonstrating genuine kindness and compassion while making a difference for those in need.”
Hundreds of heroes go almost unnoticed in our communities. But The Argus is determined to give them the recognition they deserve. We have teamed up with housing maintenance company Mears for our weekly Local Hero Awards. We invite readers to nominate candidates and tell us why they have put them forward. Call Ben Leo on 01273 544682 or email firstname.lastname@example.org