CHARITABLE Littlehampton teen Nathan Abbott has been praised for his fundraising efforts at an awards ceremony.
The 17-year-old was named as the charity fundraiser of the year during a ceremony held at the Avisford Park Hotel, in Walberton, earlier this month.
The award, given by Spirit FM, pays tribute to someone in Sussex who raises cash for charity.
Nathan, who was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, and has undergone 28 reconstructive operations to date and has helped the charity Smile Train, which supports children with cleft lips.
In 2013, he raised nearly £3,000 swimming from Littlehampton pier to Worthing and back again.
This summer he took on his biggest challenge yet, swimming 15 miles in the River Arun, raising more than £5,300 for Smile Train
At just £150 per operation, Nathan’s swims have funded more than 50 cleft lip and palate operations worldwide.
Nathan said: “I’m so proud to receive this award. It’s wonderful to know people are supporting me. I’m fortunate to have been born into a society where cleft lip and palate is treated as standard, but for many children in developing countries this isn’t the case, which is why I work so hard to support Smile Train.”
Susannah Schaefer, chief executive of Smile Train, said: “We are delighted that Nathan’s remarkable efforts are being recognised by the Spirit FM Local Hero Awards – the determination he has shown in his fundraising endeavours is truly inspirational.
“As a former cleft patient, Nathan understands the life-changing impact the surgeries can have, and by raising money for Smile Train he is helping us to improve the lives of so many children with cleft lip and palate around the world.”
For more information on Smile Train please click here