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Cadet awarded Prestigious British Citizen Youth Award

Teenage Hero Balances School, Caring for Disabled Father, and Charitable Work, awarded Prestigious British Citizen Youth Award

Cadet awarded Prestigious British Citizen Youth Award

13 October 2023

  • National
  • Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire ACF

Peter Cordwell, a remarkable cadet from Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Army Cadets, has been named as one of this year's recipients of the prestigious British Citizen Youth Award (BCyA) for his unwavering dedication to caring for his wheelchair-bound father, supporting a local disability sports charity, and excelling in the Army Cadet Force.

Peter's inspiring journey began at the tender age of nine when he took on the role of the primary caregiver for his father, James Cordwell, who is paralysed from the knees down and suffers from frequent seizures. Unable to attend school regularly, Peter receives home tutoring from his father in addition to administering his father's complex care plan. James Cordwell's seizures can last up to ten minutes, and Peter has shown remarkable composure and bravery in managing these medical emergencies.

Kimberly Wyatt Peter Cordwell B Cy A Lauren Petelinkar Big Bus London

Kimberly Wyatt, Peter, Lauren Petelinkar.

"I can only imagine how scary it must be for him to see me during a convulsion, yet he takes it in his stride, pushing fear aside, making sure I am safe once the seizure is over."

Peters father, James Cordwell

Peter's responsibilities extend beyond medical care. He assists with housework, shopping, and ensuring his father's overall well-being. Despite facing his own challenges, including a speech impediment and hypermobility that causes joint pain, Peter remains undeterred in his commitment to caring for his father.

In addition to his caregiving duties, Peter dedicates two to three days a week to the Herts Disability Sports Foundation. His contributions include teaching disabled adults to cycle, accompanying disabled participants on bell boats, and leading activities in schools. His most recent achievement involves mentoring an autistic child, helping him gain confidence and socialise.

B Cy A 2023 Group Photo House of Lords

BCyA 2023 Group Photo, House of Lords

Peter's dedication to community service extends to the Army Cadet Force, where he joined in January 2022. Despite his relatively short time in the cadets, he has excelled in various events and training, participating in events such as poppy selling, parades, and recruitment efforts. He has also been instrumental in encouraging fellow cadets to participate in the county's Corps of Drums.

The British Citizen Youth Awards are presented to individuals who are 18 years or under and have demonstrated exceptional dedication to their communities. Peter Cordwell's selflessness, resilience, and commitment to caring for his father, supporting the disabled community, and his efforts in the Army Cadet Force make him a worthy recipient of this prestigious honour.

The award was presented at a ceremony in October, where Peter joined other exceptional young individuals recognised for their outstanding contributions to society. His story serves as an inspiration to all, demonstrating the power of determination and compassion, even in the face of adversity.