In the spirit of Matilda, an extraordinary little girl who changes her own destiny, we are celebrating the remarkable achievements of young people from all over the UK. Whether they have changed their own lives in a tiny or a huge way, or whether they have helped inspire others, we asked you to join us in celebrating their actions by nominating an inspiring young person for our new initiative, Changed My Story.
Anyone could nominate a young person, whether they’re from your school, family, youth group, school club or elsewhere. Every nominee will receive an exclusive Matilda The Musical Changed My Story certificate in recognition of their achievements.
To enter, we asked for nominators to submit a photo of their nominee and tell us why or how they have been inspiring.
Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly will be helping us to select 10 entrants to attend Matilda The Musical’s 5th Birthday performance on 2 November 2016.
Jake Frood, 8 yrs old from Leeds.
Jake has just become the YOUNGEST MASTER 3rd DEGREE BLACK BELT IN THE WORLD. Jake completed the 5 hour test on Sunday 2nd October at the AEGIS Martial Arts and Leadership Academy and then received his 3rd Degree Black Belt at a Graduation Ceremony at Leeds Grammar School on Sunday 9th October. Jake has hit the headlines twice before when he broke the World record for gaining his 1st Degree Black Belt at the age of 5 years old and then his 2nd Degree at the age of 6 years old.
What makes Jakes success even more amazing is that he suffers from Juvenile Arthritis, an immune disorder and Severe Hyper mobility disorder all of which make Jake suffer excruciating pains in his legs, arms and chest and make him extremely tired. He battles through the pain and keeps on achieving outstanding results.
On top of this he has just returned from the World Kickboxing Championships a Double BRONZE Medalist. The Competition was held in Universal Studios Resort in Orlando, Florida in America 23-30th September.
In America more shock was to come when it was found that there was nobody in Jakes category as he was the youngest competitor out of all 28 countries. It was decided that Jake was to be moved up from his original category of 8-9 yrs -40kg weight division in Full Contact Kickboxing to Under 13 yrs -45kg. The children he fought were almost a foot taller than young Jake but he fought hard and made it to the Semi Final losing out to gain the very respectable BRONZE Medal. Such an achievement from a child so young. He gained a lot of respect from many other coaches, managers, competitors and spectators from across the world, who said Jake had great courage and spirit just to step into the ring.
He then was asked to fight in the England Under 13 Team fight for The Points fighting category, which is a category that Jake doesn't even fight in. He fought well again against a child much bigger and older than him in the semi-final and the England Tea
Faith Williamson, 17 years. For inspiring and encouraging others through challenging experiences.
Faith was attending a Trampoline Club that I had recently taken on. She was at first unsure of my presence as it was a change from her coach whome she had already built a rapport with for many years. Amie had met Faith as both being gymnasts but as Amie progressed into a coaching role she saw Faith positively change her story as did I.
Following issues at school and home, Faith moved into her Grandparents home. The move greatly affected her positivity, attitude and confidence. SHe became "half empty". It was through the her role as Young Leader and the National Citizens Service that Faith really changed her story. She suffered from severe Anxiety, Fear and Nerves before and during the pre-camps, presentations and celebratory events. However even through all of this she endured the emotions she was experiencing and managed to changed this around in a positive way. She still suffers form man of these emotions when facing an event no matter how big or small but continues with determination to get through it. Her change began through the NCS programme where like most camp type, team building excercise her group where given a challenge to raise money for charity. Faith raised £1213.64 alone, with her team raising a further £800 the grand total of the team fundraise was £2013.64 which was a massive achievement in itself. From this, Faiths attitude changed dramatically. She was finally looking forward to things, if still tainted with angst. She was nominated as an NCS Leader, from being one of 1500 she became one of 500 and then one of 100 who where put forwards onto the Leadership programme. at each stage of the process she would experience the anguish and anxiety of the situation. This lead her onto the National Youth Board, through an application process she had applied for her region competing against 6 others to get through. The board meet 4 times a year to discuss the f
Hi there, my name is Mollie, and my best friend as well as my biggest inspiration is Jade Smith (on the right of the photo above) who is 16 as of September. Jade and I are avid musical lovers, and because of this, we have auditioned and been in 5 shows over the past year at our local theatre. Over the past year, I have seen both mine and Jades confidence blossom due to being in shows and making so many friends and learning new skills. However, I know that Jade suffers from anxiety and has done for a while now, sometimes so bad that she finds it hard to go outside or to go to school, as much as she enjoys being with her friends and learning. I know that it's hard enough to audition as it is, I can imagine it is even worse for Jade, as she often struggles in social situations. But from somewhere deep inside, she somehow finds the courage to do this which I think is amazing. I, like anybody find auditioning hard with the nerves anybody would get from performing in front of a group of people you don't know, but from seeing Jade, a person with extream anxiety, who can achieve what she has achieved, it has given me the strength to over come my nerves and do what I love. Because of her, the last year of my life has been the best, and I know I wouldn't do it if she wasn't there, and I know from other people that I am not the only one she has inspired. Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for the message of your beautiful play, which I know has influenced us both greatly.
I am nominating my best friends Molly, age 12, and Megan,age 8,( left and right in the picture). I am nominating them because they show me that it doesn't matter what people think of you as long as you are happy and comfortable. They taught me even though others are right it doesn't mean you are wrong. They are always there for me and i'm always there for them. I know i can rely on them
I know an extraordinary young lady, a mere 6 years old that makes me feel proud and inspires us everyday.
This little scamp offers a smile and friendship to all she meets, she has a level of kindness and empathy most adults could only dream of and focuses it towards her beautiful, severely autistic brother Marnix.
Saskia ( the cheeky little madam in question) makes Marnix's life infinitely better. She is incredibly proud of her big brother, she understands him better than most and, is always encouraging him to be his best. Without question she packs his school bag carefully, checking its all in order, she will give him a bath, play games letting him change the rules so it suits his sense of order, calms him when he is stressed and on a loop, doesn't show her disappointment when the days plans have to change to stop a meltdown and him being stressed.
This is no woe is me story of an angelic little wallflower, Saskia can stamp her foot with the best Veruca Salt, but if it would help her big brother and he asked she would be a little bit naughty, in stealing him digestives from the cookie jar, (whist also pocking one for herself) if he wanted it, she would search for Unicorns
and snozzcumbers and deliver them with hot chocolate.
Saskia is always there to hold her brothers hand and blows me away everyday, she not only changing her story, but showing others how to accept different, and makes the scary complicated world her bother lives in easier everyday.
Abigail Pelluet. age 9. location- Surrey.
Abigail was 19 months old when she was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma (cancer of the retina) which resulted in her having her left eye removed and a prosthetic eye being fitted. Abigail has faced many hospital appointments, eye mouldings and fittings all with a huge smile and determination. She was even grown up enough at the grand old age of 8 to choose to have an operation to correct her eyelid.
Abigail is an amazingly courageous and determined girl who refuses to let anything stop her and slow her down. She is a very caring and generous girl who has been involved in fundraising for Chect (Childhood Eye Cancer Trust) through sponsored walks, runs and cake sales for children who have suffered the same cancer as her.
Abigail is an inspiration to me as she continues to show her joy in life even through trials and a massive determination to achieve her dreams and goals.
Her favourite book is Matilda and has read it several times- she relates with Matilda's passion for reading and likes the way Matilda isn't afraid to stand up to Miss Trunchball. Abigail was in awe when she saw the musical and is often found singing songs from the musical dreaming she is Matilda! It would be a dream come true to see the musical again.
Leonie leeming, age 14, Warton, Carnforth.
Hi a few weeks ago my daughter appeared in the finals of a competition..she chose matilda "naughty", we came to see the production last year for my 40th..we all absolutely loved it!
Leonie has battled numerous struggles in life, dxd with selective mutism at 2 life was a struggle, as she couldn't speak in social settings, and would only speak via a little boy at school for 3 years. She was then dxd with diabetes and sadly a few years after her brother whom also has diabetes was dxd with autism and suffered a stroke, she carried on being a caring sister who became a rock but battled her own issues too..but smiled her way through..then just as things were improving..sadly they lost their dad.
All throughout everything..singing in her room has got her threw everything, with high anxiety and little confidence..its heartbreaking as she has no belief in herself, and is so self critical, she ventured to a talent show..wow...panicking will she be able to go through with it..she did!! She won!!..went through to finals in Scotland a few weeks ago..from a child who's so frightened of talking..just sings to herself in her room and such an anxious child..she did it!!..she just went into full character on stage..she blew us away..i just wish her dad would of been here to see her up there, she still suffers deep anxiety but after seeing her on stage she's just started her dance back up, and musical theatre now as this is obviously where she masks her pain and is her coping strategy.
And finally after sharing her video on Facebook of her performance in the finals..she now believes in her ability..she didn't win..but the journey she's been on at only 14 years old..she'll always be my inspiration and no1 winner xxx
Joe O' Halloran. Age, 17. Location, Wigan. Joe is an aspiring music producer who has been writing and producing his own songs since he was in primary school. He is also in the process of creating a musical with his friend Ben, Joe is producing the soundtrack whilst ben is writing the script; the play is inspired by Tim Minchin's most recent musical 'Groundhog Day', Joe is completely in awe of it. Joe has a beautiful gift for music and he is possibly one of the most talented people I have met. He has always wanted to come and see Matilda the musical as Tim Minchin has always been a role model for the songs he writes. I have known Joe for seven years and I have been his girlfriend for 2 years, I believe that he would be so grateful for the opportunity to come and see Matilda's 5th anniversary, it would be an amazing reward for the time and hard work he dedicates to his music.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
This is my daughter India who is 8 we are from rural Lincolnshire. When India's father left nearly 2 years ago it was a shock to her and the dynamics of what she knew changed overnight for good. Shocks like this cause trauma and upset beyond mere tears and India has worked carefully to combat the feelings this has left her with. I am incredibly proud of how she has worked through these formulated new strategies with me at home and become a valued and well liked child at school. Music, dance and acting in particular her love of the story of Matilda have helped her equate that change and differences are not always a bad thing. India played the acrobats daughter at her local performing arts school and the emotion of her role felt very real - she strives to be an actress like her idol Emma Watson and I believe in her that whatever she wants she can achieve. She is a truly remarkable child with the challenges she faces but she always has a smile on her face and applies effort, care and empathy to the things she loves.
Jack Kimber Age 9 Merstham, Surrey. Jack has some cognative development issues and chronic anxiety. Just getting through a day at school is a huge battle for him. This combined with a most unhelpful labelling of him in his previous school and a servere bullying environment meant we embarked on a choice of home schooling for a term and a half earlier this year so that Jack could begin to take control of his life again. He was a very sad and scared little boy for a while. Jack has also worked immensely hard with a company called Fit2Learn to help overcome his development delays and has spent the last term adjusting to school life again. He has, and is continuing to change his story by not letting others negativity get inside his head and working hard to make sure his anxiety does not get in the way of the life he would like. He takes each day as it comes, some are better than others but he is working hard to make his changes!
Esther has just turned ten years old and is one of the youngest in her year group at school. She has ASD and Dyspraxia that has affected her confidence and she struggles socially . She finds social interaction very challenging and as a consequence is very quiet and shy.
We have seen Matilda on two occasions and it is the first musical that Esther really connected with. She knows every line of every song and has really taken the story to heart. When she heard the "Naughty" song she turned and said " that's a bit like me mom " - she was absolutely right.
I am nominating her for her sheer determinism and effort that has seen her cope with many firsts this year. She never went on a school trip as she was too afraid to be away from home - yet she pushed herself and has gone away with the school this week on a working farm for seven days ( its day four and she is still there). She has become a prefect - so now has responsibilities at school to interact with the younger ones. Her teacher reported that she has started to take part in class discussions and she took a small part in a play.
This was a little girl that never spoke in public, who hid under tables and covered her ears and looked to the floor when spoken to. She puts in 100% effort in social situations that we all take for granted - and she is fighting hard to cope on a daily basis.
She really has changed her story and I couldn't be more proud. She is my Matilda!!
The girl in the purple is my best friend Becca, shes 12 and from Grenoside South Yorkshire. She's the best person in the world! She's changed her story so much. Rebecca used to be the worlds shyest person and didn't talk to anyone. I luckily got to know becca and when she got cast as blousey in bugsy malone. Becca was so scared but together we brought her out her shell! She has changed so much and i'm so very proud her! Now she runs round her house belting show tunes at the top of her lungs! and she is one of the singers and actresses i've seen!!
Jayna is my best friend! She is an amazing dancer, singer and actress! I started at her performing arts school only 2 years ago when she has been there since a very young age! She motivates me and inspires me to try the best I possibly can! She is my best friend forever!
Evan Ball, Age 11, Berkhamsted
I am nominating my youngest son Evan, who was diagnosed - completely out of the blue after a couple of tiny accidents, with Severe Aplastic Anaemia at the beginning of this year, which meant his bone marrow had stopped working. Evan has endured many hospital procedures, operations, chemotherapy etc etc, this year, that any child shouldn't have to suffer, but ALWAYS, had a smile and a song ready! Evan has most recently undergone a bone marrow transplant at Great Ormond Street Hospital and has been an amazing patient, keeping the nurses (especially the night shift!) entertained with his 'numerous' renditions of songs from his absolute favourite show, Matilda. He even made a little video diary for all the staff on Fox ward, which he accompanied with him singing 'When I grow up', which thank goodness, he will now, actually be able to do, thanks to the modern miracles of science & medicine. It was a totally appropriate song choice and he is 'my little miracle!' X
Honey age 11 from Essex.
I am Nominating my daughter Honey because she has an older sister who is disabled needing 24hr care every day a charity called The Dream Factory helped Honeys sister by getting her a Hot tub to help relax her muscles.Seeing how Happy this made her sister,Honey wanted to help others get there dreams granted to so she started to fundraise by herself she done a sponsored walk to school,Raffles,Auctions she has raised over £4000.the founder of the charity was so impressed with what Honey she asked her if she would become a young Ambassador which she was honoured to take on she lets everyone know how wonderful the Charity is and creates awareness and continues to fundraise.She always thinks of others and puts other people first she really does have a heart of gold.
Thomas Ryan is aged 16 from Leicestershire. As a secondary science teacher, I had the pleasure of teaching Tom for 2 years. Tom is polite, kind and extremely conscientious. During his GCSE's he was diagnosed with acute Leukaemia and had to spend a considerable amount of time away from school. Tom had worked so hard prior to his diagnosis and despite his illness and absence from school, continued to work extremely hard ensuring he did not fall behind.
What I also found amazing was that despite the stress and pressure of keeping up with workload in his absence, Tom had been sending revision notes to his peers to help them. When his class told me this, I beamed with pride as his teacher. He says he could not have achieved what he did without the support of friends and teachers, but I truly believe that it was Tom's selflessness and determination that helped him to achieve a fantastic set of GCSE results and will be a person that I and others can aspire to be like. I feel very proud to say that I taught Tom.
Elise Johnson age 9 from Grantham Lincolnshire.
I am nominating Elise because of her remarkable determination to lead as normal life as she can despite being born with a rare genetic disorder called Kniest syndrome and being born 10 weeks early she has never let any thing stop her from achieving her goals. She has hearing aids in both ears, poor vision, a severe curvature to her spine and her joints are affected by her syndrome meaning they are enlarged, swollen and painful. She requires the use of a wheelchair but regularly gets out to walk.
Elise has never let her disability get in the way of her enjoying life, she attends dance classes every week and even participates in the dance schools annual shows, the picture of her is her winning a trophy for her improvement this year. She swims with a local disability club every week and attends school swimming lessons each week. She joins in all sports competitions in school as well as sports day and never says no or I can't! She is a fantastic role model to any child out there. She is an amazing help to her mum who also has the same syndrome. She is the most positive and happy child I've ever met.
I would love to nominate Kira Hargreaves. Kira (15 yrs old and lives is Batley, West Yorkshire) is a young woman who’s life hasn't always been easy. However she has worked tirelessly to support her community. She was a young person who attended our youth club, but over the past couple of years she has given over 100 hours on her own time to volunteer with our service. This has meant that the service has been able to offer additional activities and various youth clubs- including Kira leading/ teaching a dance group each week. Kira is a lovely young woman and we are all very PROUD of her achievements. It would be lovely to see her being successful has Matilda is a her favourite musical
Jack is now 12 years old and lives in Mold, North Wales. He was just 8 years old when he suffered a stroke while at the theatre in Llandudno. We had no idea but Jack had a collection of malformed vessels in his brain which could have burst at any time. He was taken to the local hospital and quickly transferred to a specialist team at Alderhey Children's Hospital in Liverpool.
After undergoing life saving brain surgery Jack slowly recovered and learned to do everything all over again, including walking. A keen dancer before he would not let a left sided weakness get him down!
Inspired by the fabulous team of musical theatre stars we had been watching at the theatre that night, Jack joined his local Stagecoach in Chester and has gone from strength to strength, especially loving singing. He has performed in Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and watched many many more shows.
Musical Theatre has changed Jack's story and we are so very proud of him.
Liam has always wanted to go into drama and after failing his Higher (meaning he had to re sit it) he didn't just moan he got up and started his own Theatre Company going from strength to strength. He has changed the life's of so many young and old people alike. He now studies drama in hope to teach it once he graduates. A major massive turn around.
He has never had any proper recognition for his tireless and 24/7 work to keep the company going
This is just one thing there's so much more but to much to write.
Thomas, aged 11 from South Wales has ASD. He has overcome extreme anxiety, not only to start a new school, but has made new friends and has a new confidence about himself, that he always lacked. He has experienced bullying and intolerance, so much over the last few years, that it is amazing now, to see him smile and laugh. He is an inspiration to others who are going through a tough time. On the day of his diagnosis of autism, he breathed a huge sigh of relief, because it explained the reasons why he had always felt different to others. He does not tell many people about his ASD, but is learning to see that difference is good and nothing to be ashamed of. He has always loved reading and Roald Dahl has been a favourite since he was tiny. In the photo he is holding breakfast that he made for me. for Mother's Day, as a special surprise. Just like Matilda, Tom has his differences, but with love and acceptance he thrives.
This is my 15 year old daughter Eve from Hest Bank near Lancaster. I have so many reasons for being proud of her - too many to list here! Mainly I'm so proud of how she is gradually overcoming her chronic lack of self-esteem and confidence issues. She was recently nominated to be Head Girl at school and delivered a speech in front of her whole year, despite normally being too scared to speak up in lessons. Eve is the girl that all the younger pupils go to for help, only this week she resolved a bullying incident on the bus. I am so proud that she stands up for what is right, even if it's difficult for her. She is currently pursuing her dream of working in the rugby world by taking part in coaching courses - the youngest on the course. Her drive and passion is a sight to behold - she will not be told she can't do something because she's a girl or not good enough. She reminds me of Matilda!
I would like to nominate my 14 year old daughter Marlise, from Kedington in Suffolk.
She loves music, especially musical theatre and tries to share her passion of it with everyone. She has been running a music theatre enrichment session at her school and encouraged all the younger years to come, with great success. She also co directed and choreographed "Matilda in 20 minutes " for years 7 and 8 which 7 local primary schools all came to watch. Marlise gets up and sings with her guitar in school assembly's and concerts, inspiring other youngsters to give it go.She is always singing and keeps me cheerful when I'm having a bad day (I have multiple sclerosis) plus ignores all
the sarcastic comments from her dad and siblings about her singing being too loud!
Libby is age 18 and lives in Worcestershire with her beautiful daughter a boyfriend ,3 years go she suffered serious mental health problems and really made my mum and out family's life difficult ,it was so bad she was put in an Inaptient unit ,it was hard
But I'm so proud of her she is amazing ,she fought her mental illness and I'm
Proud to call her my sister ,she's got a beautiful 15 month old daughter ,an amazing boyfriend and and lovely house and is studying at college to work with children ,I am so proud to call her my sister
Grace Carpenter 18 Colyton Devon, with her sister Alice (right)
The girls lost their mum to violent suicide when they were 10 and 7 and then Grace's best friend Jemima died when Grace was 12. Grace then spent two years battling anorexia missing a whole year of school while she was in a hospital in London. Despite that she passed her GCSE s with flying colours and was given an unconditional offer to read French at Leicester uni. She has just moved up there this weekend. Alice is having a tough time with anxiety and self harm but is also doing well at school.
Music and drama are both very important to them. Grace has an extraordinary voice and Alice sings well but acts brilliantly. It would mean a lot for them both to have outside recognition as some days are tough and their young friends find it hard to understand.
I am nominating Conor (he is 9 yrs old) and lives in N.Ireland. I nominate him because he has shown great strength and determination many times in his little life. He has an older sister who is very unwell at times and very often he has had to go stay with relatives and friends while she spends long periods of time in hospital and I have to stay with her. This often means Conor missing her terribly and me his mum dreadfully. He never complains and is very understanding when this happens. There are times he has had to take a back seat and I think he deserves a treat for being very brave and tolerant, just like Matilda. He adores all the songs in the show and often listens to the songs from the show in his room and in the car. Matilda is his favourite show and this would really make his year and give him a welcomed break and treat which he totally deserves.
After dealing with depression my amazing sister still goes on it like faking a smile she cares for me and my disabled dad and spend all her time making other happy without think about her own happiness she is 18 and she has always inspired me to become who I am today I want her to know that I would not be her littel sister who was once scared to brave the world and never try an think new but thanks to her I broken out of my cadge and done a lot of think it was hard for me having autism and getting picked on but she always stick up for me. She is the most amazing person I know not only being a young career and dealing with pain of her depression but practical raising me and helping everyone. And dealing with me as I'm a pain but she alway love me and everyone know matter who they are I just wanna say a thank you to her as she deserves it after all the hard work she dose she has became a more confident person
This is my daughter Dani-Jo, she is 19 years old from Basingstoke. Since a young age she was bullied and her real father wasn't interested in being a father. Dani started self harming at the age of 13 and fell into a deep depression and ended up moving schools many times and ultimately just locking herself in her room. At the age of 14 she came out as a lesbian and as gender queer. She likes girls and doesn't feel as if she is a boy or a girl. Dani refused to go out and wouldn't go to college until a couple of years ago she decide to change for the better and started college and now she is in her 3rd and final year at college studying performing arts and is thriving! Dani cannot wait to go to university to continue her performing arts career and ultimately wants to become a director on the west end! Dani has hardly self harmed in these 3 years and has not self harmed in any way for 1 year nearly. I personally think she has changed her story so much and I am incredibly proud of her and finally seeing my daughter happy and smiling!
My friend Katie, she is 15, hasn't had the best start in life. She got put into care at the age of 6 or 7 and is still in it now. Since being in care she has had some rough times for example her ex carers daughter physically bulling her.
Last year Katie dropped out of school because of personal reasons and everybody thought she wouldn't go back but instead she proved everyone wrong and went back. At the moment she is nailing down hard to try and get good grades so she can get a good job.
Katie is also very caring. For example when her friends call her up and they are upset she always tries her best to come and meet them.
Tallullah, now 19, is my eldest child. She has six younger siblings. Just before her GCSEs began things got very difficult at home. We had to move several times and her dad eventually left. She was often, because I was working, left to supervise the house and her brothers and sisters. She could easily have given up and gone off the rails. She didn't. She applied herself as well as she could in the circumstances and achieved 9 A-C GCSEs, 3 B's at A Level, a distinction in her Art Foundation course and has just gone to Manchester to study fashion. She has made us all very proud and is a shining example to all of her siblings. She happens also to have a beautiful singing voice and loves to dance.
Evie Matilda Smallman, aged 8, West Midlands.
Evie is my niece. She is a true diamond and a real inspiration to me. She works hard to be a kind and caring person and always looks out for others.
Being the eldest of three, she takes care of her siblings without any questions and shows ‘unconditional' love for her whole family.
I have Bipolar disorder and mental illness has been a large part of my life. She inspires me to keep on going, and has been my light when I have been surrounded by dark. Over the last few years she has also helped her mom (my sister) who struggled herself with depression and anxiety due to work based bullying. Evie dealt with this extremely well, and was there to help when her mommy wasn’t strong enough. When our mother (Evie’s Nanna) had a stroke earlier this year. It became very tough for all of us but again Evie chose to be a strength for our family helping out whenever was needed and along with her brother and sister, providing us with laughter and joy.
Evie is now much older and wiser due to the experiences she been through. She has never complained once about any of the tough times. She continues to provide inspiration for others on a daily basis, because she will always go out of her way to help people in need. Doing this makes her very happy. Being able to make someone else smile gives her so much joy. She loves to help people change their lives for the better. Evie is one in a million.
Brandon Holloway, 13yrs old originally from Malta now lives in Birmingham. I lived in Malta and whilst there I became his foster mum (he was 3 months old) I originally fostered him and his older sister but sadly the placement fell through with her back in 2008. As a newly single mum, it was hard. Brandon has high functioning autism as well as ADHD and a few other limitations but this never stops him from reaching high. He struggles on a daily basis with bullying at school from his peers due to his height (very small for his age) and his stammer which increases the more stressed (or excited) he gets. Anyway I am getting ahead of myself here. Whilst living in Malta I was given permission to move back to the UK where I had full support from my family and applied to adopt him. This was not going to be easy. Firstly, a single mum, separated, asking to adopt a MALTESE child had never been granted permission. I was approved to adopt and the entire process took 2 years to complete. We had so much red tape. First I had to wait to get divorced (it was not legal until 2013 in Malta) as my ex husband would not agree to me adopting him whilst legally separated. Then we had to get past the fact that I am a single woman, then the fact he is Maltese born. Well December 2013 we flew to Malta, the judge agreed that Brandon could and would be adopted by me - we were ecstatic both of us crying with happy tears. 16th December we were due to fly home. On going through passport control we were stopped. Somebody had put a note that he was not allowed to travel without certain documents which I did not have access to. We were moved to a room and interviewed by the police. Social services were called and even with them explaining the situation that he was now adopted and therefore would not need these documents they would not allow us to travel. they said I could fly but had to leave him behind! They asked Brandon where he wanted to live and he said anywhere with my mum.
Evie-Grace is 9 and she lives with me and her three brothers and sister. Last year she was bullied by a neighbours child which means she doesn't really play out anymore. She lost her confidence and was quite anxious. In the summer this year she attended our local Pauline Quirke Academy and starred in Matilda. Her confidence was amazing and it bought a tear to my eye to see how happy my little girl was again. I would love for her to see Matilda the musical it's her most favourite roald Dahl book and film. She to me is the most amazing shiny star x
I would like to nominate my granddaughter Meadow,she had been an inspiration to us all. Her sister Piper was born with Downs Syndrome when Meadow was 7 and Meadow has been a fantastic sister,helping Piper And her mum and dad with feeding, nappies, bath times and bed times. Also doing all the fun stuff sisters usually get up too. Pipers disability means she is slower at reaching normal children's landmarks like walking and speaking but Meadow has great patience and never ever makes her sister feel sad that she cannot do certain things but tries to make her sister goals fun and great achievements Possible and the two of them have a really close bond that nothing will ever rock. It's a joy to watch them together, little Piper looking to her big sister with love, which is returned in abundance. Meadow is 12 now and Piper 5, and the last five years have seen Meadow grow into a really amazing young adult who will always look out for her sister no matter what!
This is my daughter Robyn, she's just turned 10 years old. We live in Coleford Somerset. She is the most amazing person I know. She has to have blood test every three months and visits to the hospital every six months. When she was 4 I noticed her eyebrows and eyelashes were missing, her nails were discoloured. So the day after her 5 birthday party the took blood for testing. It took nearly a year to find out what was wrong and in the mean time she lost 80 to 85 percent of her hair on her head. She had to make changes everday to coup with what was happing to her appearance and had no control or answers for. In the beginning it was blood test after blood test while I watched my once energtic daughter get worst and worst. They found she had underactive thyroid and an Iron deficency. She will be on meds all her life for thyroid and on and off for iron. Her body changes all the time, this doesnt sound much but when your only 10 and you are trying to understand whats going on. Her meds go up and down. She is ever changing just to live her life as any other person does. She has bad days where she cries and cries and it breaks my heart as something I have to stand by her for but she is the only one who can work through it. She has days where she shines like she always did. Robyn has to change almost everthing in her life everyday day/ week depending on what it is and she just does it. It might sound much but I have to remind myself how long shes had to get on with it and how long she still as to go in life.
Olivia is 8 years old from Skegness. When she was 3 her daddy got leukaemia. She watched him go through his treatment and saw how poorly he was. When she was 5 she decided she wanted to help and make a difference to someone's life. So we looked at what she could do. She saw a charity called the little princess trust where you can donate hair for them to make wigs for children with cancer and alopecia. She had 9 inches cut from her hair and raised £1100. I am so proud of the kind and generous little girl she is.
Chatty Adam, Adam Cobey age 7 Cambridgeshire,
Adam had speach problems and age 4 had a very limited vocabulary, he worked very hard with his speach therapist and has overcome huge obstacles, he is now a chatty little boy who loves singing, his favourite song is revolting children.
My daughter Emma is 11 and lives in Gatley, Cheshire. When she was 8 years old, she was diagnosed with a soft tissue cancer in her face. She endured 9 rounds of chemotherapy, a 9 hour operation and flew to the US for 8 weeks to have 23 rounds of proton beam therapy. She is the inspiration for our charity End of Treatment Bells. Because of her, we place bells into hospitals for cancer patients to ring when they have completed their treatment. She never once complained and attended school every single day that she wasn't in hospital having treatment. She sang, danced and smiled through all of it. We took her to see Matilda after her treatment ended and she sang When I Grow Up with the school choir and also for one of her dance shows. She's amazing ❤️
Matthew Trainer aged 9 from Billingham in Stockton on Tees, is a genuinely happy, funny, exciting person, and never fails to make me and everyone around him smile, even if it is with that cheeky grin! He recently performed in his first production of the Wizard of Oz, and this changed him from a shy young boy, to an amazing person with masses of confidence! He's a caring person and deserves everything and recently on his birthday decided to donate some of his birthday money to a family member who has breast cancer! After doing this it made me realise what an amazing person he is, and there's no better way for him to be recognised than to go and see a show he has dreamed about for the last 3 years but never been given the chance to do so!
My daughter Navaeah is 9 years old and a born fighter. She was premuture and with three holes in her heart and a condition called apnoea. In the first two year of life she had clinically 'died' 13 times. She defied the doctors odds of survival and it became clear she was'nt going without a fight. She hit milestones that had been ruled out for her and was eager to go to school like other children. Sadly her medical machinery and unique look made her a target at school and at just 5 years old Navaeah was subjected to awful bullying in the form of racism and physical abuse. She lost her ability to read and write and wet herself at the school gates because she was so scared. Navaeah had a breakdown and tried to scrub her skin off to try and be like the other children. Sadly taking her out of school was my only option and i had to try and teach Navaeah how to love herself again. It was a long and not so easy rollercoaster but Navaeah changed her story. Today she is a peer mentor, she loves to help people and she speaks at body confidence worksshops. She found her talent and she has an incredible singing voice and has recently been accepted to join the spirit young performers company with dreams to star as matilda one day. A far cry from the child she was a few years ago. Shes my inspiration. She has a heart of gold and is a grade A student. She would love to join you all. Her nan passed last week and she is feelimg pretty low so ive nominted her knowing the certificate will make her smile. Thank you for having such a beautiful competiton. Our young ones are so special.
I would like to nominate my beautiful daughter Aimee Shaw, aged 15 of Plymouth, Devon
The reasons being that at the age of 13 she lost her Dad (my husband) suddenly with no explanation he went to work at 8 and was no longer with us by 9
She has had a lot of personal issues to deal with because of this such as anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks and post traumatic stress but she has still been my guiding light if it was not for her I dont know how I would have coped
She has been my rock and my inspiration for how well she has coped and dealt with things and still continued to progress at school
People tell me what a lovely girl she is and I just feel that she needs some reconition and for her to know how much I love her
I know that other peoples problems are probably worse than ours but for us this has been very traumatic and still unexplained and I just feel she is an inspiration to others in how to cope and carry on
I would like to nominate my 6 year old daughter Sophie who lives in Manchester.
I feel Sophie is an inspiration to children and me as a mother. Sophie is a very well behaved child and loves nothing more than danicing, singing and acting.
At the start of this year things took a turn at school and Sophie started to get bullied. This continued to happen for some time and made Sophie go into a shell that she was scared to come out of. As time went on things didnt seem to be changing, so as a family we had to make a very hard decision and oull her out of school and away from all her friends that she had made since the age of three.
This decision impacted Sophie and all her confidence started to disappear. She kept up with her activites but you could see that the sparkle had gone from her eyes.
As a mother this was heart wrenching because you feel as a parent you have failed in some way. I tried my best to keep the spirit alive and do everything I could for my precious little girl.
Within a week I had found a new school but in the back of my mind it filled me with dread.
Sophie was invited for a tour but you could see she was like a rabbit in the headlights, she didnt know where to look, what to say but all the time trying to keep the smile on her face. It was then a race for time to gather up new uniform and everything she needed to make a go at this new school.
FRIENDS - well what can I say about friends, they can be the most imortant thing in a childs life and without them school can be very very tough.
Sophie being Sophie was exceptional and made friends that very first morning before she had even entered the school. This made me beam with absolute pride and brought tears to my eyes. I couldnt ask for more and her grades have improved massively.
4 weeks ago we attended Matilda the Musical in London and my goodness what a performance. Sophie was in her element and now aspires to become the next Matilda. We listen to the soundtrack everyday and she
Grace, 8, New Malden has changed her story by having a fantastic first year in her new school. We moved house a year ago and Grace was very unsure about changing schools. After a tricky start she went on to excel in all her subjects, make some lovely new friends and generally make her mum and dad very proud.
I'm nominating Lochan, aged 12 from Wolverhampton, as shes my daughter. This year, she has made vast changes to her story, she's always been a difficult child and has struggled with mood swings quite a lot. When starting secondary school, she decided she was going to put all that behind her and, I have to say, our household has been much more pleasant ever since. She has immersed herself in so many activities to burn off her excess energy so that she is far more tolerant of her younger siblings now, she's also found that she's far happier without all the stress. It may not seem much but it's a big deal for us as we were at the point where we were seriously considering her moving to live with her Dad as I struggled to cope. She's also focussing on her future, which she hopes will be on the stage in some form, so gives 100% effort at all her classes and into her modelling work.
India is 5 years old and lives near Hull with myself (her mummy), her 2 brothers and daddy. She has recently started school and is doing fab. I'd like to nominate my little girl because she has overcome a super hard year! In 2014 i was put in hospital for anorexia and was in the unit for a full year. India is the eldest and the only one who really understood that mummy was gone. Despite this she has stayed a strong, happy,confident little girl and she is extraordinary! A full year without mummy must've been so hard and heartbreaking for her and I've seen it in her, plus I have disabilities which she copes with and on top of that we've welcomed baby number 3, and she continues to be amazing! So much for such a little person
I would like to nominate my 6 year old Daughter Daisy-Rae for Changed My Story. The past 18 months have been a big change for Daisy-Rae as we had to leave our family home and go into several temporary accommodations. Although we was was cramped into one room she has been amazing through the journey, helping me out when needed and still continuing to progress through school with flying colours. She has worked hard. At times when I have felt upset with our situation she has shown me so much love and said don't worry mummy. We have recently moved to our permanent house and I would love for her to get tickets for Matilda to show her my appreciation for putting up with the tough times we have had and still continuing to do well through school. Daisy-Rae is a well mannered, loving/ caring friendly little girl and I am very proud of her.
Stephen Thompson is my son. He is 11 years old. He has ADHD and ASD (Asperger's syndrome) so he has struggled all his life to fit in and make friends. He has had a lot of trouble all the time he has been at school with bullying because other children tend not to understand his unique outlook on and approach to life. We have had our ups and downs. Stephen has trouble following instructions and rules and routines so we get into scrapes. But all the while he works as hard as he can to disguise his differences and overcome his difficulties (always hanging on to his fabulous unique personality of course) He hates to be referred to as disabled or as a person with a disorder. In our house it is referred to as a "difference"
He is incredibly intelligent and articulate. He is really knowledgeable and interesting on a range of subjects. Well beyond his 11 years. He is also a very very talented actor. He has appeared in Oliver (in the title role in a semi pro adult production) and Bugsy Malone and The Wizard of Oz (as the scarecrow) and Cinderella. He seems able to consciously channel his extra energy into his remarkable acting ability and into unbelievable stage presence. He has recently been awarded 2 high merits for grade 3 LAMDA certificates in drama and prose reading. He also loves music and surfing and Marvel and reading books.
For all the difficulties Stephen has to overcome he is amazing. He works as hard as possible at his new secondary school because his goal is to become an astronaut and make ground breaking discoveries and inventions.
I have absolutely no doubt that he will get there. I have complete faith in him
His ultimate heroes are Stephen Hawking and Einstein. He is my ultimate hero.
As an 11 year old child who has to take strong medication to function in "normal" society, he has totally smashed through every barrier he has met so far with a combination of intelligence, talent, and sheer inspirational willpower. This award would fire him on xxx
This is Kai he is 11 years old he recently lost his gran just around 6 months ago due to cancer and has now recently just for out his granda has cancer and doesn't have long to live Kai has been so strong through this full time and has helped his family get through this just by him being a smiley happy young boy who would do anything for anyone he also loves to help other and make them smile,e when things are hard
Jessica Age 5, I think my cousin Jessica deserves this as for a 5 year old she is such a strong and amazing little girl. She doesn't let any one tell her that it's wrong that she wants to wear superhero hats, she never see's anyone playing on there own and she's genuinely got a heart of gold.
I am nominating Chloe because she is an inspiration to us all. Chloe has dyspraxia and this has caused low confidence and makes it quite hard for Chloe to make friends. She's suffered from being picked on for as long as I can remember but she never lets this get her down. Chloe goes into school early every day so she can help out at physio with children that need it and she never misses a day. She is also a young leader at Cubs and does all of this while being a young carer at home for her younger brother.
Chloe doesn't let anything get her Down and I am so proud of her for just dusting her self off and carrying on.
Scarlett Archer, 8 years old from Sheffield
I nominate Scarlett because she is a very determined girl. She was born with a large vascular anomaly on her right hip that has affected her gait and is very painful. She has undergone 2 operations and is on the third one at the end if September. She is in pain most of the time but never makes a big fuss. She tries her best in all extra curricular activities and in school lessons. It never gets in the way, however I can see from the swelling and redness that she is in pain. She is always optimistic and hopeful that the operations will one day solve the problem .
Charlotte Rankin is 13 years old. When she was 7 she had childhood sleep apnoea and ended up falling behind at school. She was told she would never get the results she needed to achieve anything as she wasn't clever enough. She went to high school and we were worried she would struggle but she has proved every body wrong she has worked so hard and is on target to reach high grades in her GCSEs. To make things tougher for her she had meningitis just before her 12th birthday the hospital said if we had been much longer getting her there we could have lost her. Charlotte makes us proud every day with her fighting spirit she never gives up and always tries her best. She aspires to one day make it onto the stage in the west end as an actress. She loves Singing and acting and knows all the songs from Matilda! Charlotte is an inspiration to anyone who meets her it just goes to show that hard work and determination can help over come any illness and people's opinions of you.
I would like to nominate 13 year old Madeleine from Kendal. Madeleine loves sport, particularly triathlon. She trains hard - running, swimming and cycling to ensure that she can perform well in competitions. At Easter she started getting terrible pain in her knees. The doctor said her pain was a combination of hyper-mobility, quick growth and tight ham strings. Madeleine was devastated when she was told she would have to rest her knees for at least 2 months - this meant no running, cycling and reduced swimming. However, Madeleine worked with the physio to try and improve her situation. Gradually she changed her story. She managed to find exercise that she could do so that she could maintain her fitness. At the beginning of September, all her hard work was rewarded when she gained a podium finish in the Carlisle Junior Aquathon! I am so proud that she remained focused and changed her story!
Isla is 15. She has suffered from anxiety for a number of years. Last year she walked almost 350 miles- the equivalent of her home in Ayrshire to Covent Garden to raise money and awareness for SAMH, a Scottish mental health charity. Isla raised almost £1300
https://m.facebook.com/islaswalktolon. Isla loves theatre and this is why she chose Covent garden. She has inspired me and many of her peers and I am immensely proud of her every day.
This is my son Tobey, he's just turned 11 years old and we live in Norwich.
I am nominating him because he gave up. 3 years ago he didn't want to go to school, he was being bullied by ALL the boys in his class, his only friends became the girls. He stopped going to gymnastics, riding his bike, wanting to go outside at all. Meanwhile 2 years ago we were struggling as a family with my loss of mobility. I went from walking 6 miles a week to being in a wheelchair. We moved into the city to make access easier for me.
Over the last 2 years I have watched my son battle his anxieties to start a new school, to restart Karate, to restart swimming, to restart engaging with his peers. He started high school this September and we couldn't be any more proud.
The unexpected knock on effect is we as a family have also started to pick ourselves up. We got a dog, it makes me overcome my PTSD to walk him, often with Tobey on his scooter or BMX. He's taught me that when the sun gets up there is always something to look forward to. I restarted accessing sports in my wheelchair. My husband has started writing, and joined a band.
Tobey has taught us that even when it's painful, or panic inducing it is worth getting up, and going out, and reconnecting with people again. For that he will always be my sunshine.
Hi, this is Jessica, she is 20 years old and live in South Shields. Jess's story had changed a lot especially in the past 6 years. She was a very active child who had her life planned from a young age. At 12 she knew she wanted to become a cardiac thoracic surgeon and studied very hard but she also had a passion for dance, theatre and enjoyed being a sea cadet. Then at the age of 14 her story changed when she collapsed. Her life as she knew it stopped and took a different path. It took 4 years before Jess was diagnosed with a rare condition called Elhers Danlos Synsrome (EDS), Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS) and Gastroparesis. It was then at the age of 18 she was told she would never be a surgeon. She has been a wheelchair user for nearly 6 years now.
Jess is in constant pain every day but she still smiles. She still has a passion to help others and volunteers with 2 charities, Whizz Kidz where she writes articles for their magazine and website and also out ideas forward to help others. Recently she started volunteering for Make a Wish foundation as a wish visitor where she meets the children and helps make their wishes come true. Then she also helps raise funds for the Charlie Cookson Foundation which is a charity to gave financial support to families who have children with life limiting conditions.
Jess has told me that "her wheelchair is a part of her life but it doesn't define who she is".she is constantly changing her story by taking opportunities to help others. She is persuing a career in sports journalism/broadcasting but she has been given the opportunity to speak to others about disabilities. So she is also looking at becoming a public speaker.
Jessica's journey is continuing to evolve and I'm excited to see where it takes her. Keep smiling as your smile is contagious and keep inspiring!
This is our beautiful daughter Millie. She is 13 years old and we live in Kirkby in Ashfield in Nottinghamshire.
I have suffered from severe depression and anxiety for quite a number of years now and life can be very hard, a lot of the time.
All my life, I had been bullied for being over weight and it basically set my adult life up to be a total failing. I never made anything of myself, and to be honest, I basically saw myself as a burden and an extreme waste of space.
I eventually met my partner and after a few years of being together, we had a beautiful baby girl.
Millie was born in 2003 and she had a bilateral cleft lip and hole in her soft palate. She had 2 operations before she was 1 year old and I found this difficult to deal with. Her 1st op was a life/face changing experience and Millie has gone from strength to strength ever since.
As she has gone from being a child into a young adult, her beauty and attitude to life have flourished in an overwhelming way. She is totally her own person and doesn't follow the crowds. She's not afraid to be different and especially not afraid to stand out!
As her mum, I have tried my utmost best, to keep a brave face and stay positive, even when I feel I sometimes cannot carry on.
Her dad and I have filled her with so much passion and confidence, to reach for the goals that she aims for. Her passion is music/ playing the piano and art. She is gifted in many ways and she is everything I ever wanted to be! Beautiful, confident, knowledgeable, brave and strong. I never had the nerve to go in search of my dreams....but Millie does!
So even when I feel like I have failed at just existing .....I look at Millie and I realise that I have succeeded greatly! Millie Jenvey 'Changed My Story!' SHE'S MY REASON FOR LIVING! 😊😘 XxXxX
Sophie, 22, Norwich
For battling against all the odds in your recovery.
For remaining strong when you wanted to give up. For surviving your mental health conditions (borderline personality disorder and depression). For creating awareness and being an inspiration to young people including my sister who battles with mental health issues daily. I nominate Sophie for getting herself the right treatment and therapy to beat her illness and for being patient with herself during her recovery and rehabilitation. She's my best friend
Hayden Bradley, 18, Nottingham. Hayden is such a musical talent, he strives for success and he never gives up. Hayden's been doing musicals since the age of 4, he's played various roles such as 'Nanny Fanny' in Robin hood and babes in the wood. Prince Charming in Cinderella and Velma in Hairspray. Hayden loves performing and he only does it to make others happy, to put a smile on there faces, without Hayden I would be very sad. Even when he's at work he's always making the customers happy with his singing! He sasses up the stage. I love Hayden to bits! He's one of a kind. Recently Hayden had a really serious operation. Luckly he survived the surgery, he had a spinal fustion to correct shurmans kyphosis! After he came out of hospital instead of being in bed resting he went out there and helped others doing what he does best. He never gives up. He taught me to sing, dance and act and now I feel really confident when I go to auditions! He's always there for everyone and I think he really deserves this as he's taken on so much and just the other day he was like, 'I would to see Matilda' but he never get's chance too see it. So please choose Hayden as he's the most flamboyant guy in the world and he's just the best big brother in the world. He's amazing! He really is. There's something different about Hayden, He's just the best and he never gives up! So please give this guy the chance to be proud of himself because he isn't. He needs to be able to feel that. Thank you for reading this, Love Sam.
Kyra Fyvie, 15, Falkirk. Nominated for being such an inspiration to other young people. For chasing her dream in the performing arts and for not being afraid of what people think of her. For an unbelievable increase in confidence and self-esteem and continuing to believe in herself.
My little boy Joe has changed his story by his love of horse's & riding.Joe has lots of medical problems such as Beckwith Wiedemann syndrome,Hirchsprungs disease,Ulcerated colitis & Joe has a colostomy bag,This little boy has had countless operations & over 40 general anesthetics to date.Joe has a passion for life & never moans,Joe lives life to the full through his horse riding.I am one very proud mum,we live in Portsmouth.
Ruby Mason is 10 years old and lives in Surrey. In 2010 Ruby lost her Dad aged just 3. She had spent the next few years stuck to me like glue, crying non stop. She has an older brother and sister who suffer from a life threatening condition called Marfan's Syndrome. She has watched them both become ill, my eldest Son now 23 have 2 strokes. Panicked at the thought of losing him, she withdrew again. Then in 2012 I lost our little girl at 22 weeks into pregnancy. Again Ruby was left devastated. Again not leaving my side. How much can one little girl take? Then in 2014 she saw an advert asking for kids to audition for a production of Annie Jr. She got up at the audition and sang and performed with such bravery and confidence I cried for days! (I lost my mum aged 10 so I know the pain she goes through)
After securing a role, she has never looked back. She attends a part time theatre group and every time I see her shining I know how incredibly proud her dad would be.
She has a new little sister now and a step dad who she just adores. I just want everyone know how brave she is and how she proud she makes me everyday.
Thank you x
Poppy's has been incredibly brave & inspiring since her younger sister Elsie Passed away. Elsie was very ill & Poppy(7) was so kind & brave & the best sister ever. Never complaining about having to take a back seat to her sisters needs. She has done lots of fundraising for the hospice that looked after her sister too. She is bright and happy and funny. She is our inspiration xx
Amelia, age 12, lives in Tunbridge Wells. My daughter inspires me everyday. She is one of a twin, born premature at 30 weeks & not expected to live. She didn't come home until 4 months old and has been in and out of hospital ever since. She was primarily born with a condition called arthrogryposis that affects her arms, legs, feet etc (Lee Pearson the Paralympian has this disability). Amelia was unable to walk and went through major double hip surgery when she was a toddler. She didn't take her first steps until she was 3 and half. Amelia walks with the aid of a Kaye walker and still has the use of a wheelchair because she can only walk small distances. Amelia has had further operations and treatment and there is more to come. On top of this when she was 4 years of age she was diagnosed with Selective Mutism, a speech anxiety phobia. She was mute all through her primary school years never speaking in school to her twin brother. We are only now getting the support & help we need to help her overcome this anxiety disorder which doesn't help when she needs to ask for help due to her physical disability. It will always be an ongoing process. Anxiety is hard enough for an adult to understand let alone a child. Amelia sees me as her main support and guardian angel fighting her battles and helping her but little does she know she inspires me everyday. She has such determination and a wicked sense of humour that not everyone gets to see. She absolutely loves musicals and has a lovely singing voice that no one gets to hear, such a shame I believe if she didn't have selective mutism she would join in with drama at school. Without realising it herself, Amelia has helped me fight my own battle of breast cancer. Seeing how she deals with her disabilities everyday gave me the determination to fight my own battle. I'm now 5 years clear but it hasn't been an easy ride due to the adjuvant therapy I was required to take to keep the cancer away. Watching Amelia deal
Faye Basham age 5 (Haverhill, Suffolk) started musical theatre class 18 months ago. Was very shy and now this July she has won the cup for musical theatre. She is now full of confidence and inspires and gives confidence to the younger children in her local dance/musical theatre class. A true inspiration to those around her.
Hope is 10 years old and was born with a life threatening condition called Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome, Hope does not breathe when she's asleep so has to be hooked up to a ventilator every night. When she was born Hope was only expected to live a few days and we had to fight to get the doctors to keep her alive!! Hope was never expected to achieve anything and would most likely be handicapped for life. Hope being Hope has proved us all wrong. Hope attends ballet, tap and modern classes, she is also in mainstream school and recently took her 11+ exam. Last year Hope auditioned for the part of Matilda and managed to get a recall, although she wasn't successful we were extremely proud of her because this was the girl who shouldn't have lived!!!
Eryn Rose Baldwin. Aged 8 years. Swadlincote, Derbyshire.
Eryn became very unhappy in school during year 2, anxiety was formed and fed and the passion for learning fizzled out, affecting her emotionally and eventually physically. So she decided to change her story. She has been home educated for the last year, she has fought against anxieties and built wonderful genuine friendships and taken part in what feels like every sport going, picked up foreign languages and rediscovered her love of learning, her hunger for knowledge and skills. A devotion to all things science and history. Built up her own personal library for her, her sister and her friends to share. A Burning passion for the stage and singing. Most importantly she has taken her own educational journey and her own happiness into her hands and is leading everyone else along her path. This is her story.
My superhero. Isaac has shown great strength and determination whilst facing tough challenges against leukaemia. Still with a years treatment to go he is managing to go about every day with a smile. In the past year and love for Roald Dahl has grown and is helping make reading great fun
Jude age 6 Portsmouth. This boy is inspiring in his approach and attitude to life. He uses music and movement to change his life, he is waiting for a 5 organ transplant and is fed into heart by a machine 24 hours a day which he wears on his back! Despite this he takes life by the hand and dances with it! He makes the most of every moment, he enjoys competing and has won 1st place too.
Jasmine Edgley, 19, Chesterfield.
During her A Levels, Jasmine was pushed and pushed by her Dad to attend Oxford. Jasmine loved to study, but she had several mental health difficulties which prevented her from handling pressure and stress in healthy ways. She developed bulimia. She began receiving therapy in January 2014, despite her Dad disapproving. She made her way to therapy every Friday without her Dad knowing, taking the 5 hour journey on the bus. She slowly began to improve. Shortly after this, she discovered she was pregnant. Inherently against abortions, she knew her life was about to change forever. Her Dad dragged her to the hospital and attempted to force and blackmail her into having an abortion. She is so strong, and despite always listening to him and having her spirit crushed by him, she finally said enough is enough. She moved out, finished her A Levels at which she received ABB whilst all this was occurring, and never gave in. Now she has a wonderful 10 month old and I am lucky enough to be marrying her next June. She loves musicals, and Matilda is her favourite at the West End at the minute. I think winning this would give her the chance to do something she loves, which she deserves more than anything. We can't afford to buy tickets to musicals at the minute, with the wedding and rent and baby products, so this would mean the world to her.
Harriet Thayre aged 8, from Hampshire uk
I nominate Harriet, she is a young cater to her younger sister who has a rare genetic condition that causes severe disabilities in all aspects. Not only is it inspiring how Harriet deals with everyday life with her sister and the extra needs that she has, the things she misses out on due to hospital appointments she loves her sister unconditionally, but over the past 6 months she has been a true inspiration with how strong a person she is, Harriet has recently been bullied at school over her sisters disabilities, the school once they were aware of it dealt with it amazingly. They organised workshops and a paraolympic day to raise awareness, but also helped Harriet gain confidence when dealing with the unkind words of others, so much so that they held a disability week at school and she was so proud of her little sister that she asked for her to come in and for me to do a talk on her disabilities. This is truly inspiring that an 8 year old can be so proud and caring that she has overcome the bullies.
Harriet is a keen dancer and has danced to Naughty in an annual dance competition in London, she loves Matilda and is always dancing around to the soundtrack.
Mckenzie is 8 years of olds from Staffordshire he has been through various childhood trauma one being his nanny dieing at a young age . he is dealing incredibly well and starting to socialise and read more like Matilda to change is story
Rosie is 7 and lives on Ticklemore Street in Devon. When she was 3 her baby sister Martha's face started to get red and dry and itchy, it kept getting worse and bleeding. The doctors couldn't help. No one in our little flat could sleep. We had to bandage her, hold her, rock her, cover her in greasy creams.
Rosie had to run to the hospital with me, her Mum, holding Martha in her arms when her mouth swelled up and she started blacking out. Rosie fell over and grazed her knees but got up and ran faster. Her selflessness and her courage are inspiring. When I sat crying, afraid my baby would never be able to lead a normal life, she hugged me and told me it would be OK. It was a frightening and very sad time but Rosie was super strong.
She never complained that she was woken repeatedly every night, she never complained that her parents had to devote almost all their time to coping with Martha's unrelenting itch.
We couldn't travel by car or train or go to the library! Rosie even had to pack off her beloved cuddly toys to the charity shop as Martha is very allergic to dust.
Thankfully we found an effective treatment and are trying to raise awareness of it to help others. Rosie Wolf is a rock and roll kid, she has her own band with her dad, she recorded an album and sold copies to pay for piano lessons.
Rosie has even challenged her teacher for better representation of women scientists in their class room groups! Mathilda's story resonates with Rosie as her powerful compassion and intolerance of injustice makes her pretty magical.
Alison Hayden, is an 11 year old girl who lives in South Shore, Blackpool.
In June 2015, it was discovered Alison had a tumour on her leg, tests revealed the unimaginable, it was cancer. Osteosarcoma. Chemo began immediately, but unfortunately it wasn't enough. In September 2015 she had her left leg amputated above the knee. More chemo and radiotherapy followed, and in February this year when treatment ended, we all hoped for the best. This wasn't the case. The cancer had spread to her lungs and an operation proved unsuccessful.
Right now; we are making memories, for Alison, her older sister and all her family and friends.
Throughout this whole nightmare, Alison genuinely, has not stopped smiling. Everything she has had to go through, she has accepted it, faced it head on and been so strong. She is the definition of inspiration, to all her friends, family, and everyone she has come into contact with.
She is the most amazing little girl, who is battling an evil disease, she is uncomfortable and in pain, but her first thoughts are always with everyone else. She is so caring, and always wants to know how everyone else is and what they have been doing. She is a beautiful girl and has a beautiful soul and deserves every ounce of happiness in the world.
Amelie Love, 9, has had a difficult 9 years. At a young baby, Amelie was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Although she is a strong child, this condition causes her not to be bale to walk easily and subsequently needs the aid of a wheel chair. Some days, it doesn't affect her much and others she's fine.
Amelie changed her life by not letting her condition get the better of her. She is strong and accepts that it is what it is and just get's on with her life. She has a great sense of humour and deserves to be recognised by this.
Evelyn is 8, lives in Mildenhall, Suffolk and I am nominating her for coping with all the changes to her story. We joke that Evie is like Matilda as she was reading from three years old, and was doing very well at school, dance and gymnastics. Things started to change and she was struggling. Was it becoming a big sister? Moving house? Mum changing jobs? No it was that she was concealing a medical condition. Evelyn has been recently diagnosed with Tourettes. It affects her in many ways as her tics get in the way of her concentration, make it appear she is being naughty and tires her out with physical body movements, but she didn't complain when things were hard she just kept trying harder until the adults finally noticed that she had always been good, and there was something very special about her. Now she knows that these things are not her fault, and can open up more about how hard-hit can be for her. She is a very loving child especially to her two younger brothers and super helpful to her family. She is dealing with so much more than the average eight year old and I would love to see her rewarded for that.
Sophie aged 9 from Derbyshire is a real life Matilda always reading and doing everything she can to get to school. She is my niece and has change the life of her brother. She has a very rare ear condition which has meant she has had 3 major surgeries to remove tumors that push onto her brain. She has another tumor now and awaiting more surgery. Her bravery and super quick recovery each time to get back to school has made the recent same diagnoses for her little brother far less scary to deal with. Due to this she has very limited hearing and has had to make many changes to her own life too.
Leah is 12 and lives in Barry. Her father has always been in prison and her mother was imprisoned two years ago for assault, kidnapping and ABH.
Leah has just left primary school to go to a large secondary school.
Her life could be chaos... She lives with her Nan who has social and financial difficulties... But she loves musical theatre.
She's a sponsored child at our theatre school and has never missed a rehearsal - she often has to walk the three miles to our rehearsal space, but always arrives with a smile.
Leah is a born performer and I want to do everything in my power to continue to encourage her.
We met by chance - I was her primary school teacher... Leah will never have an opportunity to go to London and experience something as wonderful as 'Matilda' .... Unless she's invited!
I'm a huge fan. We all sing the Matilda songs in my singing practices at school... The kids love them.
Rachel's a 12 year old Korean girl. She loves singing, acting, and dancing and wants to be a part of professional musical theater.
But she used to have a hard time at school. Some kids had been bullying her and calling her a freak. She had gone through a dark time, but after watching Matilda, it gave her hope to stand up to them, and now the bullies don't bother her anymore. She proved that even if you're little, you can do a lot!
(By the way, she is a huge huge fan, and knows the entire script by heart. It would be a dream come true for her if she could just set a foot on the Matilda stage. After all, Matilda gave her the courage to stand up for herself!)
From birth Bethany was a true little fighter, being born 15 weeks early only weighing just 1lb 9oz, doctors didn't think she would survive. She has gotten through all the struggles prematurity throws at you. She has autism, but strives to fit in and has found herself a good little circle of friends at school. Last year in October she witnessed her step father drown in a horrendous accident on our family holiday. It has been a really difficult time yet is still keeping on top of her school work and doing well.
Jess is 7 and is from Manchester; she had a catastrophic onset of epilepsy shortly before her fifth birthday. Her epilepsy became so severe that she spent lots of time in hospital and in a wheelchair, she has tried eight different drugs to control her epilepsy. She has completely changed her story as she bravely started the Ketogenic diet in February this year, the diet means that she has to eat very high fat foods and very little carbohydrates, she can not eat all the fun foods that all her friends eat. She has been a complete inspiration and whilst the diet is hard she now spends very little time in her wheelchair, is back at school full time (albeit with a wonderful helper), she is slowly learning to read again and she has raised lots of money for the Daisy Garland charity that helps children with difficult to control epilepsy.
Sophia is 13 she will be 14 in November and has always loved the story Matilda. She has dyslexia and puts 120% into everything she does and has overcome so much! She is beautiful inside and out and deserves this as a treat x
I'd like to nominate my daughter Bella .... It's sounds a little cheesy but it's true .... Matilda the musical has changed my daughters story!!! She struggles academically in school and this has in turn caused her to suffer terrible anxiety for most of her school years ... It's been difficult and upsetting to watch her go through debilitating anxieties .... She likes to sing and we organised for her to have lessons ..she was terrified and wouldn't get out of the car even though she wanted to do it her anxiety and fear of failure was so strong eventually she went to the lesson where the teacher introduced her to The songs from the musical . She seemed to come alive when she sang naughty she would say it made her feel strong and happy. The love for the musical and her passion for singing gave her confidence to sing in front of people and she no longer felt so bogged down with feeling intimidated in the class room and so stressed about being behind academically .... She still suffers with anxiety but she's such an incredibly kind girl she helps others who feel stressed and worried writing children letters telling them to be brave and strong like Matilda she has performed several times at school and people can't believe she is the same girl when they see her perform.
She has the cd of the musical and plays it in the car , she gets such joy from the songs and can relate to naughty and quiet so much she constantly tries to help others who are worried or scared. As I said at the beginning it sounds cheesy but Matilda the musical has been such a huge influence on her and has impacted so much on her strength and self belief she literally knows every word to every song and it really has changed her story ! Her name is Bella she is 11 years old and lives in formby near Liverpool .
Nia Owen, aged 10 from Swansea.
Nia is a little girl who finds herself in a story that isn't always easy. Her older sister is profoundly disabled with cerebral palsy and her younger sister has autism but she is learning that she can write her own endings without being selfish or cruel. Nia is a determined young lady, always polite, kind and thoughtful and very aware of unfairness and injustice. She is a young carer with immense patience and she works hard at everything she does from school work to swimming. she rarely complains, just gets on and does and certainly inspires her family to keep going when times are tough.
McKayla Emily Disario, 9.5, San Jose, CA, USA. McKayla has struggled with various mental illnesses since she was 2. Anxiety, depression, OCD, mood disorders, possibly autism. She is also academically gifted, which actually causes more problems than it solves. I am nominating her because, despite her challenges, McKayla takes EVERY day to try to make a new "win." She participates in musical theatre though she has debilitating stage fright. This summer, she "decided" to get over her overwhelming terror of dogs that has prevented her from spending holidays with her grandparents, all of whom have dogs, and even resulted in her choosing to go back to the hotel one Christmas so that the "doggies could celebrate Christmas with the family, since it was their house and she was just a guest." In July, she made a DECISION not to be scared, and 15 minutes later, had a large husky in her arms demanding belly rubs. And she was laughing and crying at the same time. In school, she gets picked on because kids call her a "crybaby" because she can't always control her moods. Her teachers don't know how to handle her, especially during a meltdown and have been known to "evacuate" the classroom, leaving her completely alone until I can come to get her. She relates to Matilda in that she just wants life to be fair, but wonders how hers ever will be. She wishes she had "powers," but knows how lucky she is to have people who love her (though she refuses to let me sing the Miss Honey part in front of her...ever). She is my inspiration, and not because I am her mother. I teach drama and I use her to inspire all of my high school classes. My students want to be more like her. *I* want to be more like her. The world needs to know this child.
Samantha is 15 years old. She lives in County Durham with her mum Jacqui and is a pupil at my dance school. Samantha's mum was diagnosed with a brain tumour when Samantha was just 7 years old. I have watched her grow up caring for her mum through times of joy and great sadness. Since diagnosis Samantha's mum has also suffered from two secondary cancers one of which was very recently at the start of this year. Despite all of the heart ache that comes with an only parent having cancer, Samantha has relished every day with her mum. She has shown great strength during times of difficulty and as her teacher I have watched in awe and admiration. She deserves to know that she has not only changed my story as I will never ever get another pupil like her, but she has touched the lives of so many others whether that be her friends, younger pupils who look up to her as a role model or her mum Jacqui who would not be without her.
I'm nominating Daniel Kendon, age 9 from Horsham in West Sussex. The reason I'm nominating him is because he has changed his story by not listening to the bully's at school including sadly his teacher. He has been kicked, punched called gay all for his love of singing and dancing, when we told his teacher last October he said to us "what do you expect with all the singing and dancing he does!" He still gets called names but he's learning to deal with it better, I know it hurts him though, he recently got into the Royal Ballet school junior associates but doesn't really tell anyone. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell you how he's changed his own story.
Phoebe Litherland, Age 6, Derbyshire.
Phoebe fell ill last Christmas. She was admitted to hospital and tested for Menigitis, Septecemia, leukemia and a few other diseases. She was eventually diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Rheumatoid Arthritis. She was incredibly poorly. She was in and out of hospital many times between January and April and put on strong medication. She fought hard and was extremly brave. Without the medication she would have been wheelchair bound.
She had to have daily, weekly and monthly medication.
In May she amazed us all by competing in and coming second in a junior Duathlon. She was phenomenal and is an inspiration to us all.
She has to still take medication and has been in hospital since. It's a life long autoimmune disease that she will
Always fight but she is amazingly though and can do it...just like Matilda! And she still has time to occasionally 'be a little bit naughty!' 😉
Chloe Maguire aged 13 was diagnosed with cancer when she was six despite being in isolation for 4 months and having steroids and radiotherapy to help battle the cancer it wasn't just that helped her win it was her positivity and good look upon life; after two years she finally beat cancer and now she's back to school and altough she's behind her personality never will be and she'll always carry on, I nominate her because she's never let anything get in her Way. She shows me that nothing is impossible when you set your mind to it whether it be a small obstacle or a illness that causes you to take medicine everyday. She's an amazing girl and a little fighter and an inspiration to all her friends and family
I nominate Anya Foster , 14 from Northampton . The reasons for me nominating her is because of her talent . Anya is a very musically talented person . She is an amazing singer , not only that she is self taught in ukulele , guitar , keyboard and can play the cello , which she takes lessons in and i believe she is around grade 6 . Anya seemed to never know her true talent , she always put herself down and as one of her best friends it was heart breaking to see . She truely is an amazing singer . In the hope of drilling some self belief into her , I shared one of her youtube covers with my stage school . My dance and singing teacher thought she was amazing and had a lovely tone to her voice . Anya was offered a place at our dance school fundraiser to sing at this fete . She was greeted with a massive applause and even an encore ! She even had the courage to sing her own song that she had wrote . Many people commented on Anyas talent and I think this is where she finally started to understand her talent of singing and playing musical instruments . My dad is one of her biggest fans ! I also think Anya thoroghly enjoyed this opportunity . Then , she went on to do something phenominal ! Anya auditioned for The Voice Kids . She truely was changing her story . I was so proud of Anya that she finally had the courage to audition for something as big and amazing as that . Sadly , she didnt get into the second round . This is when I saw this . I want Anya to know what an amazing singer / musician she is and how proud I am for her ' changing her story ' . Xxx
Joe is my old brother. He's 18 and he has been a dancing since he was 9. When he was 11 he started going to Elmherst school for dance, he's now in his final year. Joe inspires me because he's doing what loves and doesn't care what other people think of him. He reminds me that dreams can come true. I couldn't ask for a better brother.
Gracie is the most determined and hardworking little girl. She has always struggled at school and finds reading and maths especially challenging. She is a model student and always receives lots of praise from her teachers for effort and behaviour. She has now started Year 2 and is currently being assessed for Dyslexia. She loves school and her fabulous 'Miss Honey like' Teacher. She even wants to be a teacher herself when she's older. Her sheer determination and ethos for hard work is an inspiration to all. We are extremely proud of her and look forward to watching her grow.
Eighteen-year-old Georgia Mockridge was on beach patrol during the incidents where swimmers got into distress at Camber Sands last month. Three men had got into difficulty and although two didn’t make it, she helped the third from the water and started resuscitation. Georgia assisted at Camber Sands when an unfortunate incident happened and she is also a hard working individual who tries her best to help everyone, especially the students at SilverLee Stage School where she helps teach young children to dance. She’s an asset to the community. Georgia enjoys helping anyone and will always go out of her way to do so.
Joffie Walters is 16 when he was younger his mum died of cancer instead of being upset he stayed strong for his family even though he was the youngest now at 16 next year he is going to help children in Africa to read English
This is Elinor Howe, my Moose. I have chosen to nominate my Moose because she has taken control of her life and pushed herself get where she is now. You see, we have very pushy parents and both of us went down the performing arts route as a career choice. Ellie ignored the 'not so helpful advice' from our parents and chose the subjects she wanted to take for her education despite the parents displeasure. Now she proved herself very useful as she has now gone on to help and teach in an amateur dramatics company. She has also gotten a job in a leisure centre as a lifeguard. Ellie has shown that she can work on her own terms and be happy doing it, instead of listening to our parents and being unhappy just to please them.
I listened to my parents and it was the worst thing I ever did, and wasted two years in university because of it.
Ellie, my moose, took her life into her own hands and I am so proud of her! She will go on do to great things if she keeps up this hard work. ❤️
Martha Blake, (12) Marlow. This little girl has struggle through her primary school career. She didn't see herself as clever, smart or brainy. As she left primary school and entered the world of secondary she was diagnosed with ASD which helped her understand why she was "different" to her friends. She also has dyslexia and dyspraxia but that isn't stopping her. She's a determined little girl and has worked hard in her first year to move up through her streaming system for work to end up in the middle of the middle stream.
More than that, she is a child with vision. She wishes to become a teacher for children with special needs and is actively seeking out work experiences that means she can do that.
She not letting her own " invisible disability" stop her creating her dream.
Skyla Rose Budding is 4 years old (nearly 5 she'd be eager for me to add) and lives in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales. Skyla suffers from both Leukaemia(A L L) and a platelet disorder called ITP which can lead to her blood not clotting, which means bleeding and bruising can happen easily. Skyla deals with this in many ways which inspire me, but not least in the way she knows so much about her conditions and how her blood counts can affect what she can do on a day to day basis. Skyla loves to play musicals and pantomime in the house and although she hasn't perfected it yet,I have told her that if she practices then she can do magic with her eyes just like Matilda.
Poppy Is a young lady from Tamworth who has been fighting a brain tumour since 14 months old. She is an absolute inspiration to all young people and despite her battles, works hard to raise money alongside her family for Birmingham Children's Hospital.
Sophie Ginley, from near Bradford, is six years old and has a younger brother - Jacob - who is three years old. When Jacob was 13 months old, he was diagnosed as a type one diabetic. This nomination isn't for him (though he deserves it in his own right!) but for Sophie, as not only did her already difficult life change, but she embraced this change.
Living between two houses, with separated parents, Sophie inspires me with the way she watches over her younger brother, showing him the way and constantly making him laugh. He's been in and out of hospital and even when Sophie is worried she keeps a smile on her face and loves to make sure others are smiling. Her mum has been poorly too, yet still Sophie keeps smiling. She is the most selfless little girl I know and she encourages others in everything she does. She loves to sing, dance and read, and she's so smart. Despite a tricky home life, she works hard at school and thinks it's "cool to be clever". She inspires me by reminding me that, even when life is tough (and you can only have sweets once your brother has gone to bed!), it's important to be kind, and that it's "nice to be nice". Sophie is wise beyond her years, and I know her story will continue to be amazing.
My daughter Emma maybe too old for this at 19 but she has never given up her dream of performing in musical theatre despite having severe dyslexia. It may take her longer to learn a show but you would never know. Always on time and word perfect. We live in Whiteley Fareham. X
This is my cousin, Jack... he turned 13 On September 7th and is into drama. He also has a lovely younger sister named Amy and a dad called Paul. His mum, Denise, died on the 13th June 2014 from stomach cancer. He was eleven at the time. He had the hardest of times.. he had to be strong for himself as it his last year of primary school, he had to be strong for his sister to show her that it will be ok in the end and he had to be strong for his dad because his dad had to now manage two children on his own and jack tried as much as he can to keep the family spirit alive. I am extremely proud to say I'm related to jack because for a boy of his age to help keep everything together and still be such an nice, loving boy is just mesmerising... he is my Idol ❤️
This is Katy, she is 10 and we live in Yateley, Hampshire.
Last year Katy decided she wanted to shave her head to raise money for charity. So she did!
Katy raised over £2100 for Cancer Research Kids & Teens!
I'm so proud of my daughter, we told her that people might look at her differently but she didn't care, she's been called a boy and even got stopped from using girls toilets, she just didn't care!
I love her courage and strength to stand up and be counted regardless of what others thing ok her.
Maria is 9 years old. She lives with me her mum in Twickenham, Greater London and I am nominating her because she inspires and teaches me so many wonderful things. From adapting and embracing a new life in the UK, to showing kindness and creativity each day and for forgiving me for not being with her dad anymore.
She loves Matilda very much and she deserves to see the show too.
Thank you for this opportunity.
Abbi (8), was born in February 2008 in Birmingham. By six months she wasn’t crawling or pulling herself up as other babies do and after various tests and a biopsy, in April 2011 Abbi was diagnosed with Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy.
While Abbi can walk, she cannot run or jump and she struggles to get up from a seated position. But she is an intelligent and very determined little girl, who sees the best in life and in people, and copes with her condition in a way that is constantly commended by her peers and family alike. It was Abbi who inspired the people around her to fundraise for the charity MDUK. She never complains about the daily struggles she faces and always see the best in people and the world around her. I know she would love to be a part of this celebration and she deserves it.
I nominate my youngest daughter Jasmine Blake. She is 11 years old. We live in Bournemouth. Over the past year I have been noticing just how much of an inspiration she is to me. It was when she won an award at school that it hit me how remarkable she actually is. It was in year 6 and she got an award for outstanding contribution and achievement to school life. I realised then how that summed her up. She has grown up with an older sister who has at many times dominated mum (me) and dad because of an illness. Jasmine totally has unconditionally loved all her family members. Even when at times when she had had to change plans due to mum and dad needing to rush to be with her older sister. Although she has been too young to understand fully, she has never moaned, never judged and just got on with it. Jasmine will stand up for herself because she believes she is worth something. While at the same time having a good sense of fairness. Jasmine likes to live in a world where life is fair and everyone is treated equally, and yes she could recite the unicef little book of children's rights and responsibilities as she believes, by her own thinking that everyone is important whether they be young or old. Her journey continues now with her starting at a grammar school and wanting to be a Shopkeeper or Prime Minister
I would like to nominate my granddaughter Phoebe Lamont from Croydon.
Phoebe was always a smiling happy child,but on her 7th birthday her world came to a end when her mother was killed in a car crash leaving phoebe without any parents. Phoebe wanted to carry on with her day, Having a party and smiling a laughing though her lose of mum still so raw. Not long after Phoebe took up the flute. With hard work Phoebe gain her Grade 1 at distinction within a year. Phoebe has gone on and now at 12 is taking her grade 6 soon. Phoebe spends her Saturday morning attending her own music lessons and then going on a passing on her love of music to other children in Band and playing in the youth orchestra group at Croydon Music and Arts. Phoebe is also involved in scouting and spends a lot of time making sure that all children are involved in all the activities. For her hard work Phoebe has been awarded Jack Patchey for both scouts and music. These are awarded by their peeps. Please consider Phoebe as she would love the experience of going to a theatre.
Erin is my inspiration every day. Her mother and I split up 16 months ago. This has resulted in her going through many changes including moving 50 miles away from me, a new school and having to leave her drama group. However, Erin reminds me and her mother on a daily basis about what is important. She has had to cope with a lot, but her attitude and outlook is nothing short of inspirational.
She is also a massive Matilda and often sings every word of the score even though she's never seen it.
Erin is my princess, my inspiration and mostly, my amazing daughter.
Logan White (from Croydon) was just 3 when his Auntie was killed in a car crash. Even though his was so young this affected him and he come very withdrawn and lack confidence. Now 9 Logan has turned himself around, He has started to learn the Obeo and joined the school choir. This has given him his confidence back signing a solo in front of his school and parents, solo's in his first obeo performance. He would love to be on the stage in the future. Logan is also part of cubs and has gained the most badages in his cub pack. He is looking forward to going into scouts and going on the next adventure which includes going to Switzerland next year.
Caitlin is 16years old and has been my Bestfriend for 5 years but for her these past 5years have been extremely difficult for her. Her dad left her family when she was 11 leaving her mum to raise her 14 children alone. At the age of 12 for a year she was sexually abused she didn't tell none her story apart from me. She suffered in silence which affect her emotionally she started getting in to trouble at school and got excluded many times. Her life spiralled out of control she went with the wrong crowed and was basically throwing her life away. Due to all the exclusions and missing school she didn't have much of an education she struggled to read and write on top of all of that which made life for her very difficult. In 2014 September she started year 10 and got bullied as people were spreading to rumours she was the bigger person and ignored them but at that moment sh had reached rock bottom. she decided to disclose
Caitlin has had a challenging life so far from dealing with sexual abuse to dyslexia. She has faced so much yet refuses to let it all bring her down she is a survivor and not a victim and she is my biggest role model
Freya is a miracle, a little princess with an infectious smile who completely changed the course of her life with no explanation as to why other than simply a miracle!
Diagnosed at 4months old with mitochondrial disease, an inherited condition with no treatment or cure, Freya was given less than a year to live. The year that followed was full of hospital admissions, medication, tests, false hope and tears. However, suddenly, at 18mths old Freya made a huge turnaround. She learnt to crawl, walk, talk and eat, all things she wasn't 'supposed' to do and we are so proud of her! Now aged 6, she attends mainstream school and shows no signs of the disease, running around the playground just like any other child! She has baffled the professionals and remains a mystery! Freya's sheer determination changed the course of her whole life, she is the happiest little girl in the world! Where there is life, there is hope.
This is Emily-KATE who has a very rare complex medical condition . She is always smiling and is very brave she has a sister ALICE who is older and they are best friends ,Alice helps Emily through many difficult situations , I am there grandmother and I think it would be amazing to be able to see Matilda .
I think that Ebony, 8, from Prestatyn, is a very special little girl. She is one of the kindest and most patient people that I have ever met. She is one of 4 children, the only girl. Two of her brothers have special needs. Her eldest brother has autism, and although living with him can be incedibly difficult most days. She shows unlimited patience and love when dealing with him and will go out of her way to help him calm down when he starts to have a meltdown. One of her younger brothers was born with a heart condition which has led to other problems as he grows. She will do anything for her younger brothers, caring for them, teaching them and playing with them. She is always positive and happy and never complains if her brothers recieve a dispropotionate amount of time spent on them. Her teachers in school comment on how kind she is and how she has such wonderful empathy for her peers. I believe she is a wonderful person and think she needs some recognition for coping with rather an insane and unique family!
Amelie is 7 (8 in October) she lives in Swindon! She loves pandas & has a special panda teddy that helps her with her worries & anxiety that she faces most days. Amelie had to move school Twice!! Leaving her friends and despite her worries was really really brave, she settled at her new school & tries so hard! She loves to read especially.
Each day Amelie has anxiety about school & social struggles but is super brave by still facing them each day and enjoying her learning! Even attending a sports camp in the holidays so Mummy can go back to work. This is such a big thing for her...everyday things that some find easy but we are very proud of her! Tears are not as often now & she's trying to smile as much as possible with help from her Panda & books!
This is Emily, she is 7 years old. Shortly after her 4th birthday our world fell apart when she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. She has endured over 2 years of chemotherapy, lost her hair, had a Hickman line, missed lots of school, spent countless days/nights at hospital, been through numerous theatre visits, she's missed out on so much. She is now one year off treatment and doing amazingly well.
Emily loves reading and used to think that she was actually, secretly Matilda. Now, she juat wants to be a writer (or possibly a nurse....or teacher...whatever she wants!) when she grows up.
To mark her end of treatment the charity Maddi's Butterflies granted her a wish to go to London to see Matilda. the most amazing day, memory making at its very best!!
Emily is a wonderful big sister to Abigail, who was a week old when Emily was diagnosed. She is a bright, clever, funny, daft, caring little girl. In fact, while she has been on treatment she has completed fun runs to help raise money for the hospital where she is being treated. She amazes me every day. A true hero. Xxx
My daughter Esme is 6yrs old and has just recently moved to Brighton. Esme has worn an eye patch every morning for the last 2 years to improve the sight in her left eye. Despite feeling vulnerable she has grown in confidence and become very brave. Esme has the biggest heart, always empathetic to others feelings and always offering to help. Whilst waiting for a place at her brother’s school she was inspired to right a song called ‘Don’t Cut Down the Trees’ after reading a book on the rainforest. She would like to sing it in the streets to raise awareness. It moved me to see a child so young with such passion and drive.
Holly, aged 7, Runcorn
I would like to nominate my daughter Holly because she has to work harder then her peers at school everyday because Holly has dyslexia.
At the end of year 1 she sat a phonics test which she failed only gaining 23/40. Since then she has had to work everyday, even during the holidays. Before the summer holidays she retook the test and gained 36/40. She continues to work very hard and while her friends get to play out after school, Holly is studying. I'm so proud of how hard she works and it makes me sad that she will always have to put in more work then her peers because of the dyslexia. Holly loves books, especially Matilda and loves to write and make up her own stories. My favourite is titled The Rainbow who lost his colour.
Bethany is 16 and lives in Buckinghamshire, England. She is a strong individual and takes on any task, recently starting her musical theatre course at college. She always puts her all into everything no matter what obstacle stands in her way, and is a true inspiration to anyone who knows her. She is a fantastic friend and a very talented girl.
Sophie is my ten year old daughter who lives in Sunderland Tyne and Wear. She is an active outgoing child who has had some massive achievements in the past couple of years, the latest being that she received highest exam mark in the North East with her musical theatre exam. As a baby she was in and out of hospital with some serious chest problems and she has never let this holder her back. She has danced from being able to walk and lives to perform
Tilly, age 4 from Oldham suffers from terrible eczema and food allergies. She never complains when other children are eating ice cream, cake and chocolate. She puts her own cream on and we use Matilda as inspiration that if she looks after herself her condition may improve. We sing along to the Matilda sound track on the way to school in a morning.
My sister Amelia Whiteley is 12 years old from Manchester and she had a severe case of Autism. Amelia inspires me every single day. She has to go to disabled school , which is attached to a normal high school. She gets judge by different students / people every day. She has taught me to never judge people and that nobody's perfect,every one is different. I am nominating Amelia because she has to put up with different people judging her , laughing at her and pointing at her every day. She is the best sister anyone could have.
My name is Jessica (16) and I am Livvy's (7) neighbour and friend, Livvy lives at Clipstone Village, Nottinghamshire. I have known Livvy since she was born, Livvy has always been a happy person who loves to play outdoors and have fun. When Livvy was 4 she was diagnosed with XP 'Xeroderma Pigmentosum' which is a very rare genetic condition, which means Livvy cannot come into contact with any type of UV lighting this is the sun and even lighting in a school classroom, if she was to come into contact with UV light she has a very high risk of getting skin cancer. Livvy has had a lot of skin cancers removed in the past, despite going through this she always has a smile on her face and never moans! Livvy has to wear UV protective clothing everyday this includes wearing: a beekeeper mask which defends her from the UV Ray's getting to her face, UV protective gloves, UV protective long sleeve t-shirt and on top of wearing all of this she has to apply sun cream every 2 hours. I can't believe a rare condition like this could happen to one of the most beautiful girls in the world, but Livvy just keeps smiling and has her head up high and won't let this condition beat her! She is a hero! Livvy loves musicals and would love to watch Matilda, as Matilda is a hero just like Livvy is!
Faith is my 11 year old daughter who lives in Sheringham, Norfolk. Faith has a rare form of epilepsy where she has three types of seizures she is also partially deaf. Don't be fooled though this little girl could so easily be fed up and down about her condtion. Oh no she is the happiest , positive child you will meet. She changed her story! She goes to school with such a positive attitude even though she doesn't find it easy. Whatever this young lady puts her mind too she definatly will have an amazing story
Bailie 5yrs old from Hertfordshire
Over coming shyness, delayed speech
Living in a flat with unsociable neighbours, bailie spent her first 3 year with lack of a sleep.
He confidence has now hit a high. Amazing PQA helped her find her Voice and confidence, at the age of 4 she has stood on stage and danced her way through show's
Singing when I grow up all the time.
And she says she is " naughty " like in the musical
Olivia Marrows from Lincoln aged 7. Olivia is scared of the dark but has faced her fears ( not liking the black outs after each number ) and has been involved in two charity shows for Lincoln CATS group to raise money for the special baby unit at Lincoln county Council . 3 songs and 4 dances per show. I nominate Olivia for facing her fears and continuing to do something she loves . The photo is her singing When I grow up from Matilda .
Jude was just over 2 pounds at birth and not expected to survive. However he did but has a non fuctioning digestive system. He is fed into hist heart 24 hrs a day. During the day he wears his nutrtion on his back. This has not stopped him doing the things he loves. Long spells in hospital glued to You tube allowed him to learn all the songs from Matilda and when we took him to see the show he sang every word. What a thrill. Jude has many other passions. He would love to swim but can't. He decided to follow his 2 older brothers and learn to street dance. He has entered and won several trophys and the best tbing is no one knows he has any health problems at all. Judges think his backpack is part of his costume. Jude is now waiting for a transplant so he can eat for the first time in his life. Jude is 6 years old and in year 2 of a mainstream school.
This Thea Lamb she 13 years old. She has worked very hard and has loved and enjoyed getting there. She has worked with some very talented people over the past 2 years. Auditioning for Matilda over 3 years ago and not getting through her final audition to being positive and thinking I will get there one day. To going back 10 months ago and getting a yes was heaven for her. She has inspired a lot of the cast over the 8 months of working at Matilda. She is professional, humble and never complaints. Her life has changed for the good to working hard and think big.
Hannah, 23, Austria
Hannah has had a long fight with depression over the past year after she had to quit her profession as a dance teacher due to an injury. But she's been really brave and started a course for media design at college just a few days ago to get a new perspective for her life. She definitely changed her story.
She's a huge Matilda fan btw :)
Georgina Warren -Love,aged 12 from Derbyshire. My daughter gives me a reason to get up every day after my husband, her daddy died 4 years ago. She is a talented singer and dancer ...this picture is taken at rehearsals for English Youth Ballet 's production of Giselle.
Amy is 8 years old and has Global Development Delay. Although she has her own daily struggles she always has a smile on her face and is so caring and helpful to others. This is her pushing my mums wheelchair round Hyde Park on a day out. Amy lives in welwyn, Hertfordshire.
Ted, aged 6 who lives in Surrey did a Summer Singathon to raise money for Music in Hospitals. In his words "I am going to record a new show tune every week for Music in Hospitals because I want to raise money for people who aren't as lucky as me" he raised an amazing £633.46! So think he deserves an award for his achievements. He is a massive Roald Dahl fan X
Our names are Scarlett and Grace McCormack, we are 11 and 10 years old and Amelie is our 6 year old little sister. We live in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. She has a brain problem called Rett Syndrome, she is our rainbow sibling as our little brother that was born a year before died in our mummy's tummy. Amelie seemed like a normal baby sister but then when she got older she stopped being able to do the things she had learned. As she grew up things have been hard on her but she is such an incredible person, she smiles almost every second she is awake, she loves school, Disneyland, peppa pig and having stories read to her. But most of all she loves the people who love her. She teaches us how to be happy even when things are not the best and she teaches us patience. Everything is hard for Kiki and she still manages to try her best. She is the best little sister in the whole wide world. Please consider her. Thanks very much.
Leanne Danson,17 from Romford Essex, has volunteered for Hertfordshire Mavericks Netball and England Netball as match day staff while having to balance her own netball training, musical theatre training and an Apprenticeship at L2. Leanne is a role model to all younger netball players and theatre performers as balancing a load of different things is very hard work and specially while playing netball at a high level.
Alice Coyle, age 6 and a half, Derry. I nominate my daughter who has autism but never let's it put limits on what she wants to do. She inspires me everyday with her creativity. She loves writing her own songs, and has developed so much through her love of music and words to the point where she now attends musical theatre class and loves it. She even did a very short solo but of dancing with her theatre group for Pride in the city. She loves Matilda the musical having seen performances both on TV on The London Palladium and performances by a friend of hers Caitlin Magee who is also very inspiring. She really identifies with it. She also knows very well that sometimes she has to be a little bit naughty but has inspired me to be more child like and to come into her world of music, made up words and collections.
Florie is 6, and lights up a room with that smile.
She has a condition called Rett Syndrome and is stuck in a body that doesn't work for her BUT she is a social butterfly, has so many friends and people who love her. She fights everyday! She loves Music too!
Skye was such a timid, quiet little girl. Quite often I'd have to force her to talk to people to make friends. As soon as she had her 4th birthday, the big milestone of school started. This was going to be a big struggle for Skye. As weeks went by Skye seemed to be enjoying school and would come out happy everyday, but there was still that big concern of gaining confidence and making friends. Two weeks later Skye joined a stage school. She absolutely loved attending and would do so religiously each week. In the December Skye performed her first show. Knowing that she was a shy timid little girl we did not expect her to be in the spotlight. Much to my surprise, Skye took hold of the microphone and sung solo all by herself, her confidence was hugely recognised by me and all her friends that she had made. She is now six and still attends stage school, so confident, such a musical lover and constantly singing and dancing. Everyday she asks when she will be on a big stage. I am so inspired by her for going out making friends and becoming such a confident little girl that also is a,aging at what she does. I'm not just inspired by her but so proud to call her my daughter. I will do my best do give her the best musical future possible.
13 years from Nottinghamshire, she continues to inspire me and never fails to cheer me up!
Terms & Conditions
Terms and Conditions
This promotion is open to all residents of UK] aged  years or over. Proof of age may be required. Employees (or family members of employees) of any group company of the Promoter, companies associated with the Promotion and all affiliates of such companies may not enter this Promotion.
Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these terms and conditions and agreed to be bound by them when entering this Promotion.
To take part in this Promotion you must upload a photo to the Matilda The Musical website at [insert URL] of your Changed my Story nominee, along with a description describing why you are nominating them.
Nominees should be a young person who has done something inspiring and the nominator must have directly benefited from the inspiring actions of the nominee.
Maximum of one entry per person and per household. We cannot accept entries by any other means.
Closing date: All entries must be received by 12.00pm (BST) on 18th October 2016.
The Promoter does not accept responsibility for network, computer, hardware or software failures of any kind, which may restrict or delay the sending or receipt of your entry. Entries must not be sent in through agents or third parties. Incomplete entries, and entries which do not satisfy the requirements of these terms and conditions, will be disqualified and will not be counted.
If the Promoter has grounds to suspect any entrant or third party of cheating, deception or fraudulent or unsportsman-like conduct of any kind (including, without limitation, manipulating the promotion, choice of prize winner(s) or any entry) the Promoter reserves the right (in its sole discretion) to disqualify any entrant, entry or person it reasonably believes to be responsible for, or associated with, such activity.
10 entries will be selected by the judges from all complete, correct and eligible entries received before the closing date.
The Selected entries will be those which, in the opinion and sole discretion of the panel of judges demonstrate inspiring individuals who have Changed their Story either for themselves, or those around them, in a positive manner.
The selected entries will be notified by 24th October 2016 and will then have 5 days to claim their prize by responding to Matilda The Musical by Email. If they have not claimed the prize by this time, another winner will be chosen.
Use of your entry: By submitting your entry, you irrevocably grant a licence (i.e. permission) for the Promoter and its agents and licensees to edit, publish, broadcast and otherwise use your entry for any and all purposes, in any and all media throughout the world in perpetuity (or, where such a licence is not lawful or enforceable, for up to 50 years from the date the entry is submitted to the Promotion), including, without limitation, on the Promoter’s publicly accessible website(s), Facebook page(s), Twitter feeds, YouTube page(s)/channel(s), and all other media whether now known or hereafter invented (“permitted purposes”).For the avoidance of doubt the Promoter may, without limitation, add further content of its own choosing to your entry and or edit/splice it together with other entries.
By submitting your Entry, you warrant and undertake that:
You are the legal and beneficial owner of all intellectual property rights in the entry (including all images, footage, music and text submitted by you as part of the entry process), that your entry is your own original work and does not infringe any third party rights;
You have the right to grant the Promoter permission to use your entry in the ways described in clause 12 of these terms and conditions.
Your entry does not infringe English law or the law in the country in which you are normally resident;
Your entry does not, to the best of your knowledge and belief, infringe the law of any other country;
Your entry complies with all terms and conditions of use applicable to the relevant social media platforms.
You hereby waive and agree not to assert (and warrant that all individuals featured have waived and agreed not to assert) any moral rights in and in connection with the entry;
You shall, on request, do such other things and execute such documents as are reasonably requested of you by the Promoter in order to allow the Promoter to use your entry for the permitted purposes;
You have obtained all relevant rights and written permission from individuals featured in the entry, and that your entry does not feature anyone under the age of 12 (unless it is your own child and you have that child’s consent);
The Promoter reserves the right to pass on any entry (including the associated personal details) which cause it concern to the relevant authorities.
You agree to indemnify the Promoter in respect of third party claims arising out of or in connection with any breach by you of the warranties and undertakings set out in these terms and conditions (in particular, the warranties and undertakings set out in clause 13 of these terms and conditions (above)).
Prize: 10 entrants will receive: 2 tickets to the Matilda The Musical birthday Gala performance on 2nd November 2016.
The prize does not include travel or any other expenses
The Promoter reserves the right to substitute the prizes (or any part of them) for a prize or prizes of equivalent or greater monetary value if this is necessary for reasons beyond its control.There is no cash alternative to the prizes (or any part of them) and unless agreed otherwise in writing the prizes are non-refundable and non-transferable.
Third party terms and conditions apply to parts of the prize where applicable.
The Promoter reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions at any time.
If any winner is not able, for any reason, to accept a prize, or does not respond to the Promoter’s notification within 5 days of the draw date, the Promoter reserves the right to award the prize to another entrant.
The judges’ and Promoter’s decisions shall be final and binding in all respects on all entrants. No correspondence will be entered into. Entries that do not comply in full with these entry rules and conditions will be disqualified.
Except in the case of death or personal injury arising from its negligence, or in respect of fraud, and so far as is permitted by law, the Promoter and its associated companies and agents exclude responsibility and all liabilities arising from:
a) any postponement or cancellation of the Promotion, and
b) any changes to, supply of (including, without limitation, prizes which do not reach the intended recipient), or use of the prize, and
c) any act or default of any third party supplier,
which are beyond the Promoter’s reasonable control.
Details of prize winners’ names will be available for one month after the close of the Promotion by writing to the Promoter at the address set out below and stating the name and closing date of the Promotion.
Winner(s)/entrants agree to allow the Promoter to use their name and likeness for advertising and publicity purposes without additional remuneration.
If you have opted in, the Promoter [and its business partners] may also use the details you give us to contact you for marketing purposes by email and/or SMS.]
This Promotion, and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with it, shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law. You irrevocably agree that the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim that arises out of or in connection with this Promotion.
The Promoter is: AKA Promotions Limited. 115 Shaftesbury Avenue, Cambridge Circus, London WC2H 8AF.