Inspirational Youth


Danny Mardell - Winner

As a young boy, Danny was intrigued to watch his late father boxing to raise awareness for people like him with Down’s Syndrome.  Danny’s parents founded a charity called ‘Danny’s Challenge’ to help people with Down’s Syndrome.  After the sudden passing of Danny Mardell Snr, young Danny wanted to keep his father’s legacy alive so with his mother Carol’s help they restarted ‘Danny’s Challenge’ and Danny took up boxing. Danny Junior and Carol went to the Peacock Gym and had a meeting with the owners Mark and Jimmy Tibbs and there he started his boxing. The first charity exhibition fight against boxing promoter Jack ‘Dom’ Shepherd was a great success. Danny has trained hard to carry on raising money for various charities.  From the age of 14 to date, Danny is now 25, he has raised around £100,000 for all types of young people with difficult challenges, special needs and cancer charities.  He has taken part so far in a total of 8 of these charity exhibition fights. Danny loves his training and being in the gym where he is a well known and loved character. He has a massive presence that shines wherever he goes, with a cheeky smile on his face that puts a smile on everyone else’s faces around him (unless you’re in the ring with him!). As well as boxing, Danny loves his football, athletics and swimming. He recently completed a 50 length swimming challenge at the London Aquatics Centre in Stratford.
Danny is a true credit to his family and friends and is of course an Inspiration.

Maya Hahn - Highly Commended

Maya has been battling Leukaemia since October 2018, and has had to endure        gruelling chemotherapy, endless rounds of drugs, and procedures just to get her to    where she is today. During her journey she has been an active fundraiser and took   part in Relay for Life in Clacton along with supporting their various other events,   she even hosted an afternoon tea at her house whilst battening her illness.
Her friend and nominator Kelly Mitton wrote: “She is so motivating to others and a pillar of strength, in all the time she has been            poorly she never once let her illness get in her way, she is an inspiration”


Mykie Perkins - Highly Commended

Mykie was diagnosed with bone cancer in Oct 2017, he had 14 rounds of high dose chemotherapy and underwent limb salvage surgery. Mykie finished treatment in July 2018 happily he remains cancer free. He has since written a book published under the title the ‘Monster in Mykie’. He has written the book to raise awareness of childhood cancer and help other young people that have been diagnosed with or are battling against cancer. Mykie felt if he had of been given a          book at the beginning of his cancer journey things would have been a lot clearer to him, he wanted others to have the opportunity to read his book during what can be a very difficult and upsetting time 


Rachel Ojo - Highly Commended

At just 18 years of age Rachel has become a valuable and inspiring member of the community. She has passionately represented Essex and volunteered with dedication from a very young age, having been a volunteer on the Basildon Borough Youth Council for over 6 years. She has received a Diana award for being an ‘anti-bullying champion’ and has helped the youth council receive the High Sherriff award for helping to reduce violence within Basildon. She often appears on the BBC Essex “hashtag Essex” program, expressing the views of young people. Rachel has also represented Essex on a national level, as a member of the UK youth parliament for Essex and has delivered a truly inspiring speech in the House of Commons. Last year she became the chair of the UK Youth Select Committee for knife crime. She has chaired sessions in parliament, and represented the young people of Essex at 10 Downing Street, where she met cabinet members to discuss the pressing issue of knife crime. Despite all of her commitments she still finds to raise money for charity, to be a member of The Air Cadets, help as a Wickford library volunteer and be an active member of ‘The Spring of Hope’ choir, singing in care homes every other Sunday. Rachel is not only an inspiration to young people in Essex…. but nationwide.



Amber Hood - Highly Commended

Amber is a great fundraiser. During lockdown she raised £1450, she    bought loose sweets packed them in small gift boxes and gave them away as a thank you to, amongst others, the ICU staff at Queens and King George’s  Hospitals, to Dagenham ambulance staff, St Francis hospice, local bus staff, Dagenham care and other Care homes. She raised money for the heart      foundation, for a local dance school, and regularly gives up her spare time to          attend local events with her charity mascots free of charge. She ran a free raffle for    local children to win gifts of their choice just to put a smile on their faces. She walked 23 miles over a period of two weeks for charity despite a muscle spasm problem. During this most difficult year she has still managed to raise over four thousand pounds for the Cancer Christie charity. Her Mother Nicola says “Amber is always pushing her self to help others, she is a role model for always       working hard”. 






Other Supporters

Anglia Ruskin University Chelmsford