A little girl with a lot of courage

Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards Dinner Leeds New Dock Hall, '23rd oct 2015'Matilda Booth Outstanding Bravery
Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards Dinner Leeds New Dock Hall, '23rd oct 2015'Matilda Booth Outstanding Bravery
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A little girl with a lot of courage has been recognised at a national award ceremony.

Matilda Booth, four, was joint winner in the Outstanding Bravery category at the Children of Courage Awards.

Matilda, who has spina bifida, is paralysed from the chest down and relies on a power chair to get around. She also has a rare stomach condition and cannot eat or drink.

Despite her difficulties, the tenacious little girl never stops smiling and uses the abilities she does have to her advantage.

Matilda’s mum, Sharon, said: “All the children at the awards were inspirational, so we couldn’t believe it when she won.

“I was holding back the tears, but I managed to get a few words out on stage. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place.”

It is the fifth time the Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards has been held, and this year’s event at New Dock Hall in Leeds was the biggest yet.

As well as recognising deserving youngsters, the event raises money to help disadvantaged children though the St James’s Place Foundation, and this year’s event looks set to smash last year’s fundraising total of £100,000.

Richard Balmforth, executive director of St James’s Place Wealth Management, which runs the foundation and the awards, said: “We had a fabulous evening recognising special children who have achieved amazing things, often in adversity and who so deserve our support. It was also brilliant to see the generosity of people in Yorkshire raising so much money for the St James’s Place Foundation.

“We had lots of fun as well as lots of tears and I’m already looking forward to next year’s awards.”

The event was hosted by BBC Breakfast presenter Steph McGovern, who said: “These young people are some of the most special, outstanding, talented young people from this region.”