Jackson lands top award from charity

Jackson Edwardes, 12, from Wallsend has been awarded Young Person of the Year award. Picture by Chris Bull.
Jackson Edwardes, 12, from Wallsend has been awarded Young Person of the Year award. Picture by Chris Bull.
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A youngster suffering from sight loss has picked up a national award.

Jackson Edwardes has been awarded Young Person of the Year award from disability charity Henshaws at its annual awards event.

The 12-year-old, from Wallsend, was chosen as the outright winner from a competitive field of service users from throughout the North of England.

Jackson has no vision in his left eye and moderate impairment in his right eye due to congenital nystagmus, a condition that causes the eyes to look involuntarily from side to side.

He also has amblyopia, optic nerve atrophy and a squint, as well as ADHD.

Jackson was chosen as the winner due to his determination and personal journey over the past year, including moving to high school, plus his involvement with the Henshaws junior football team.

Jackson said: “I played football when I was seven, but the coach didn’t understand my eye condition and it was too fast.

“I was made to play with younger children, where I didn’t learn much so I left.

“Since joining Henshaws and taking part in the VI football, I have loved football for the first time in years.”

He continued: “The coaches are great because they understand my other condition and help me through it.

“I do get frustrated on the pitch sometimes, but they calm me down and I take time out. I enjoy learning new skills and enjoy playing with children with same eye conditions as me. The team mates are like my best friends.”

Fiona Ashcroft, director of fund-raising at Henshaws, said: “At Henshaws, we hear amazing stories every day and our awards are the perfect time to hear about just some of the journeys that are taking place across all our community services.

“Jackson’s independence and determination is astounding and we’re pleased that we could recognise her achievements with our Young Person of the Year award.”