A Bishop Auckland youngster has been presented with an award for his efforts to support a charity that helps local people living with cancer.

Stephen Nicholson jr, 12, was presented with one of only two TeamSolan t-shirts signed by legendary boxer Manny Pacquiou in recognition of his support for the Solan Cancer Trust.

After donating money at a supermarket collection, Stephen enlisted the help of his father, Stephen Nicholson sr, owner and managing director of Stephen Nicholson & Sons bespoke painter and decorators, to further support the charity’s work.

Stephen sr said: “Little Stephen had put some money in the tin at the supermarket and had got talking to Mark Solan from the charity. Mark told him that the charity helps people with cancer in many different ways and Stephen thought I might be able to do something to help.

“Since then, I’ve supported Mark with many decorating jobs for people who might just need a bit of a boost before or after their treatment.”

Stephen jr is also a keen amateur boxer and has raised money for the charity through boxing events.

Stephen jr said: “I really enjoy helping people through the Solan Charity. My dad and I have visited lots of people that the charity supports and have helped with their decorating, and it always puts a smile on their faces.

“I’m really pleased to get this award and hope other young people will start fundraising too.”

Mark Solan, CEO of the Solan Cancer Trust, said: “Charities like the Solan Cancer Trust rely on fundraising and volunteer support, so it’s fantastic when young people like Stephen want to help and get their families involved.

“On behalf of the trust, I’d like to say congratulations to Stephen for getting the award. It’s well deserved and he’s a fantastic ambassador for the charity.”