Inspirational Leyland schoolgirl scoops North West Pride Award

Top honour: Sofia Crockatt has won an award for her bravery
Top honour: Sofia Crockatt has won an award for her bravery
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A young girl who battled back from near-death to raise more than £40,000 for charity, has scooped a top North West Pride Award.

Sofia Crockatt, 10, a pupil at St Catherine’s Primary School in Leyland, has been named Most Outstanding Individual aged 4 to 18 by organisers The Katy Holmes Trust, and will be presented with the honour at a special ceremony in November.

I think it’s fantastic they’re holding these awards because it’s not about a sob-story, it’s about recognising what has been achieved altruistically.

Nick Crockatt

When Sofia was two she was struck down by meningococcal septicaemia and spent three months in hospital.

The damage to the toddler’s lower limbs was so bad that the doctors had to amputate her left leg below the knee, and it took a long time for her to learn how to walk again using a prosthetic leg.

But now she’s sports-mad and uses her passion to fund-raise for the charity Meningitis Research Foundation, as well as take on visits as part of an ambassador role.

Sofia’s dad Nick Crockatt said: “We’re all over the moon about the award. When we got the phone call from Paula at the Katy Holmes Trust, Sofia went nuts. She’s so delighted. The timing of this is pefect, because she’s had an amazing year.

“She’s done the Great Manchester 2k Run and then smashed her personal best at the Great North Run 2km with a time of 10 minutes.

“She’s also taken part in the Para Tri at Dorney Lake, Windsor, where she was interviewed for Channel 4.

“She got to meet Paralympic stars such as David Weir and compete against able-bodied people.”

Sofia’s fundraising efforts have seen her collect £23,500 this year alone for the Meningitis Research Foundation, and they nominated her for the award.

Nick added: “We know Paula and David from the Katy Holmes Trust through meeting at a school event, and we’ve kept in touch.

“I think it’s fantastic they’re holding these awards because it’s not about a sob-story, it’s about recognising what has been achieved altruistically. Sofia’s own personal motto is ‘never give up’.

“She does have trying times behind the scenes, with leg fittings and so on, but she’s not a complainer.

“At 10 you might think she would have the weight of the world on her shoulders, but she doesn’t.

“In fact she thinks it’s pretty cool to be an amputee.

“She has a level of positivity beyond her years and I think that’s why a lot of charities have warmed to her and why she’s been chosen as the first junior ambassador for the Meningitis Research Foundation.

“I think the word inspirational is overused, but what Sofia does is motivate people – if she can do this as a 10 year old, what can you do?”

The awards ceremony takes place at the Mercure Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa near Blackburn on 
November 21.