Young Leighton charity champ in line for YOPEY award

Fourteen-year-old Michael Desmond of Leighton has been nominated for a YOPEY award by his teacher, Helen Smith
Fourteen-year-old Michael Desmond of Leighton has been nominated for a YOPEY award by his teacher, Helen Smith

A Leighton lad whose passion for extreme sport has helped him raise substantial amounts for charity has been nominated for a competition that hails the way the county’s young give to others.

Teenager Michael Desmond discovered his love for strenuous outdoor activities when he was just 10. From cycling to climbing, he has completed charity challenges to all four countries in the UK fundraising for a different good cause each time.

He has been put forward for an Atlas Converting Young People of the Year (YOPEY) award – regarded as the Oscars recognising young people who give to others.

Michael, of Willowbank Walk, has been nominated by his Cedars Upper School teacher Helen Smith. She said: “Michael stood out to me from the beginning after his mum visited the school and told us about his involvement with charities.

“He is a caring young boy with a great sense of humour who has done so much for others, even though he is only 14.”

Michael said: “I wanted to do a variety of active challenges on behalf of those who might not be able to do it for themselves

He added: “I’m hoping to get an apprenticeship as an RAF engineer but I won’t stop fundraising.”

The annual YOPEY competition has prizes totalling more than £1,000. There will be a senior YOPEY (aged 17 - 25) and a junior (aged 10 - 16). Either prize can be won by an individual or a group.

Entries close on July 31. For more details visit yopey.org