A YOUNG fundraiser has been commended for his services to the community at an annual celebration of achievement.

Former Wyvern Academy student Ryan Reed was presented with the Branksome and Cockerton West Community Partnership Award for his charitable fundraising efforts at the Darlington academy’s prestigious annual prize giving ceremony.

Ryan, 17, who is currently studying countryside management at Houghall College, Durham, raised over £1,500 from a series of sponsored bike rides, charity football matches and entertainment nights with funds used to support cancer charities and terminally ill children across the North East.

“I began fundraising after my nana passed away from cancer,” said Ryan, of Darlington.

“The first event I held was a charity football match which raised £300 for Cancer Research which was followed by a sponsored bike ride for the Bradley Lowery Foundation raising another £500.”

Ryan’s largest event to date, a charity entertainment evening at the Corporation Road ASE Club, Darlington, where acts including Britain’s got Talent finalists Grace and Ali and local girl band Living G, entertained more than 300 people.

It raised £700 for eight-year-old Mark Hammond, of Darlington, who recently lost his battle against cancer and ten-year-old Alfie Smith, of Hartlepool, who lives with Cerebral Palsy.

“I hate to see anyone suffering, especially when it’s young children, so I just do what I can to help,” said Ryan. “It’s really nice to have been recognised tonight by Wyvern Academy.”

Ryan was presented with his trophy by former Olympic, European, World and Commonwealth swimmer Chris Cook who urged students to make smart choices, take chances and never be afraid of change.

“If you’ve given your best, whatever the outcome, be proud of yourself,” said Mr Cook.

“Take every opportunity in life, don’t have any regrets and you will be amazed by what you can achieve.”

The annual prize-giving, celebrating both current and former GCSE students, was hosted by head teacher Mo Wilkinson.

Prizes were awarded for academic and sporting excellence as well as individual trophies for services to the community, dedication, determination, perseverance, citizenship and personal achievement.

Entertainment for the evening was provided by The Wyvern Lower School Choir performing ‘The Climb’, by Miley Cyrus and The Wyvern Academy Rock Band with a roof raising rendition of ‘Don’t Stop Believing’, by Journey.

“This is my favourite night of the year, a night to celebrate the success of our students past and present,” added Mrs Wilkinson.

“To get it right takes teamwork and hard work. Persevere until you get it right, draw on your inner self. Everyone in here can be the greatest you just have to keep on believing.”