Sixteen-year-old George Robinson has been recognised for his award-winning charity work by Conservative MP Andrew Percy.
George, a sixth-former at Goole academy, east Yorkshire, began volunteering with the Goole Splashers swimming group for the disabled when he was 11.
His work was first recognised last year in the champion volunteer category of the Diana Awards. Most recently, Mr Percy, MP for Brigg and Goole, wrote to Alan Yellup, chief executive of the school’s sponsor, Wakefield City Academy Trust, applauding George’s work.
In the letter, Mr Percy tells Mr Yellup: “I would like to take this opportunity to send George my sincerest thanks for all his commitment over the past five years to the Goole Splashers. I find it commendable that a young person such as George is willing to give up his spare time to help those less fortunate than himself.”
The letter ends: ” . . . he really is a credit to both his parents and the school.”
Presenting George with the letter, Mr Yellup said: “The way in which you give your time to help others so selflessly restores my faith in humanity.
“It is wonderful to have students like you in the school community. We are all very proud of you here.”
George, who says he doesn’t think he is doing “anything out of the ordinary, to be honest”, has taken part in events such as a bungee jump and completed a sponsored swim to raise money for Splashers.
“I love giving back to the community. There’s a sense of belonging when I’m there. I’ve been going for so long that the clients all know me and I have a great amount of respect for them.
“Both my grandma and mum volunteer, so as I was growing up it was second nature to help others.
“There’s nothing better than seeing a client laughing and relaxed when you know that it’s not something they do very often.
“Some of them are severely disabled and find being in the water gives them the freedom they otherwise wouldn’t have.”
On top of George’s work with the Splashers group, he is also helping with the academy’s Gambia project, which supports a scheme set up by a Goole couple to build and run a school for young girls in the east African country’s capital, Banjul.
George is helping to gather educational and personal items for a shipping container that will be sent out this spring, as well as planning a non-uniform day, bag pack and a skydive to raise funds for the school.
To top it off, he plans to visit this summer and spend six weeks helping out.
Main pic: George Robinson with Matthew Partington (left) and Alan Yellup. Inset: George receiving children’s gifts to send to The Gambia from local car dealership Glew’s Garage’s marketing manager, Jane Richardson