Joel Prinn, 14 from West Bridgford has been awarded the Medal for Meritorious Conduct by the Chief Scout, Bear Grylls.
This is a national award that is only presented for meritorious conduct of an exceptionally high standard.
Joel was born extremely prematurely at just 26 weeks and weighed less than 1 pound at birth and spent the first 6 months of his life in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.
As a result of his prematurity Joel is severely sight impaired, has mild cerebral palsy, and has temperature regulation issues which can lead to seizures.
Joel is a Scout at 4th West Bridgford.
Through sheer determination and drive, Joel takes on every opportunity put in front of him.
He is a highly participative Scout managing to undertake a week-long camp in Lancashire last summer.
He’s also taken part in an expedition challenge where with one-to-one encouragement and support he walked 6 miles across the countryside – which is a long way in leg splints.
Joel is highly regarded and respected by his peers and the leaders at the group, and everyone is thrilled that his tenacity has been recognised in this way.
Steven Tupper, head of Nottinghamshire Scouts said, “It’s very rare that I get to present these types of awards, but on hearing everything Joel has achieved and how he personifies our Scout values, I couldn’t think of a more deserving recipient”.
In a personalised video message to Joel, TV adventurer and Scout Ambassador Steve Backshall said: “someone like you who is willing to take on their challenges, to overcome them, and then drive forward to achieve big things, is surely going places.
“You are going to achieve huge things in your future, and you have done already. I am so, so proud of you and all that you have managed to achieve.”
Next April, Joel and his family will be invited to Windsor Castle for the official presentation of his award in the presence of Bear Grylls and a member of the royal family.
Joel’s parents, Melissa and Simon Prinn said:
“We are very proud of Joel and are immensely grateful to all the volunteer leaders for their inclusive approach and their active encouragement for him to take part in all activities during his time at 4th West Bridgford.
“This has often necessitated extra work on their part. They clearly enjoy what they do, and we feel that their care, commitment, and enthusiasm is reflected in Joel’s enjoyment of Scouting and the experiences and challenges that it has presented so far.”