Student Olivia has been awarded the Child of Courage Award by Newark Rotary Club.

Olivia was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome when she was 14 years old but you would never know of the day-to-day challenges she faces. She is conscientious and extremely hard-working, with a steadfast determination to succeed, and is also kind, caring and funny.

Olivia is truly remarkable and a fantastic example of how we have the ability to write our own story, rather than letting it be written for us. We are extremely proud of you Olivia, keep on being brilliant!

Here is her full nomination:

“For those of you who are lucky enough to have met Olivia you’ll know that she is, what can only be described as a courageous and wonderful young lady, making her fully deserving of this award. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Olivia develop throughout her time at Tuxford into the brilliant person she is today and she’ll graduate from Year 11 this year.

“Olivia is kind, caring, funny, conscientious, extremely hard-working and she also has a steadfast determination to succeed. And that’s not easy, given the challenges she has faced, continues to face each day and will do in future.

“When Olivia was 14, already wearing hearing aids in both ears, she was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome a rare disease which affects her hearing and eyesight. Olivia has moderate to severe hearing loss and her eyesight is also deteriorating which makes her lip reading all the more tricky.

“Despite these ever changing challenges, you will never hear Olivia complain – she digs deep, communicates her feelings with her friends and teachers and shows remarkable courage day in and day out; as her history teacher says, she is unflappable.

“Olivia doesn’t let her challenges get in the way of life and doing what she loves. Her success at school, academically and socially, is a testament to this. Olivia also writes a blog and has an Instagram page to share her experiences with others about Usher Syndrome – and believe me when I say that if you read even one paragraph of Olivia’s blogs, her determination to “fight” the disease shines through. Given that there is so little information about Usher Syndrome, her desire to share her experiences also highlights how willing she is to help others.

“Olivia remains humble and self-deprecating despite her obvious courage and this is a quality that makes her so likeable and a pleasure to have in our school. Personally, I believe that it shows incredible courage to continue when we’re unsure of what the future holds; this has been true over the past year during the pandemic but even more so for Olivia.

“She is truly remarkable and a fantastic example of how we have the ability to write our own story, rather than letting it be written for us.”