NOAH Herniman won the ‘Achiever’ accolade at the South Wales Argus Pride of Gwent Awards in 2019.

Noah is a 14-year-old charity fundraising sensation who refuses to allow a medical condition to stop him from helping others.

Over the years he’s amassed around £18,000 for charity and is never short of new cash-generating ideas, an extraordinary achievement for a teenager living with neurofibromatosis, a developmental condition that affects his nervous system.

“You wouldn’t know it to see him,” says proud mum Shelley, a railway guard. “He’s resilient and just gets on with it, and he’s certainly isn’t backwards in coming forwards when it comes to his fundraising.

“Noah receives physiotherapy for his legs because his knee caps haven’t formed properly, and his problems with his hands means everything he does at school is done on his tablet, but it never bothers him.”

Noah’s efforts led him to be named ‘Achiever of the Year’ at the Pride of Gwent Awards 2019, but over the past few months he’s certainly not been resting on his laurels, raising £1,000 for homelessness charities and launching an appeal that resulted in the creation of 300 cotton facemasks.

Fundraising became a passion for Noah during his trips to the Serennu Children’s Centre in Newport for outpatient appointments.

“Seven years ago he overheard somebody say that funding was being cut, which meant wheelchair-bound children couldn’t use their local centre for physiotheraphy,” says Shelley. “Noah was horrified. Soon after his school, Pembroke Primary, was holding a fundraising morning for the British Heart Foundation and Noah marched up to a photographer from the South Wales Argus and asked him to take his photo because he was going to do a sponsored walk to the Severn Bridge and back in aid of Serennu.”

Noah’s first fundraiser netted £3,000 and laid the foundations for several other initiatives: he’s got his school involved in Race for Life; climbed Pen y Fan and taken part in the Chepstow Stampede.

Since then he’s organised a collection of hats, gloves and scarves for the night shelter in Newport and supported Newport Women’s Aid at Stow Hill and Llamau in Cardiff, which helps young people at risk of living on the streets, with donations of chocolate eggs.

The year 2019 was a difficult time for Noah’s family after his father, Nigel, was involved in a work-related accident that resulted to him suffering a great deal of stress.

“Nigel’s experiences have inspired Noah to look to do some fundraising for the mental health charity MIND, he knows that Coronavirus will result in so many people struggling with their mental health,” says Shelley.

As for the future, Noah has one big ambition: to be Dr Who. In the meantime he’s using his passion for the time lord’s adventures to write and record a Dr Who audio production for charity, for which he hopes to engage the services of a number of high-profile actors.

“I feel that everyone deserves to be happy,” explains Noah, now a student at Chepstow Comprehensive School. “Sometimes we can help others just by doing simple things. I cannot help myself because there’s not a cure for my condition, but I can help other people.”

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