A CAERLEON air cadet who lives with Asperger Syndrome has been nominated for a brace of Pride of Gwent Awards.

Alex Anderson, 18, has been nominated for the Volunteer Award and the Achiever Award in the contest run by the Argus, which is aimed at celebrating some of our region’s unsung heroes.

“The moment I learned of the nomination I was humbled and grateful that a member of staff from my Air Cadet Squadron took some time to write a nomination for me,” he said.

In the nomination, Mr Anderson’s squadron adjutant officer spoke of how the teenager had experienced bullying at a younger age due to his Aspergers, but had battled through the difficult time at school.

They said: “The biggest point I would like to raise here is that Alex has always done his best to do right by people, despite having many knock-backs in his earlier years.

“He has never given up, despite all of the adversity he has faced.

“With the right support, Alex has been able to develop monumentally.”

Mr Anderson said he sees his condition not as a disadvantage as his childhood bullies might have assumed, but as something which enables him to reach out and help people in his community.

“As I have the benefit of having Asperger Syndrome, I have started to engage with schools to boost awareness of Autism through public speaking,” he said. “I hope to engage with the next generation of young people to demonstrate why it is so vital that they volunteer to give back to their communities as they are the future.

“I plan to team up with the Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations to spread the word of volunteering as I have seen first-hand the benefit I can have on my community and all the amazing people I have had the privilege to meet along the way.”

He continued by saying that there are many people in the community who don’t get any recognition.

“I feel that they are heroes and deserve to be recognised as them,” he said.

“These awards are so important to show the Gwent area that there are inspirational people all around them.”

Nominate your Gwent heroes at newsquestevents.co.uk/pride-of-gwent