Bolton School Junior Boys

Milan Shortlisted as Lockdown Hero

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Year 4 pupil Milan Kumar has been shortlisted as a Bolton News Lockdown Hero. He is among 30 finalists who have been shortlisted across 12 categories after going above and beyond since the beginning of the pandemic a year ago.

Milan’s story began in March 2020, when he decided to earn his ‘Black Belt’ in the Junior Boys’ School Blazer Book Belt reading challenge during lockdown. He read 50 books in just three months, and was at the time nominated as one of Bolton’s Lockdown Heroes as well as receiving widespread praise on social media and congratulations from Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, Patron of the National Literacy Trust.

He went on to raise a staggering £2,232 for the National Literacy Trust through their Fit for Lit challenge. He cycled 500 laps of the University of Bolton Stadium, completing 50 laps a day to represent each of the books he read for his Book Belt. The Education Secretary congratulated him on raising such an impressive amount of money and, as a result of this campaign, he was invited to become a Premier League Reading Stars Ambassador for Bolton Wanderers Football Club. He cheered and inspired the Club’s followers by providing a series of book recommendations and reviews on Twitter. His efforts towards the #KeepGMMoving campaign throughout his challenge and beyond also earned him a well-deserved Digital Sports Award during 2021.

As the end of 2020 approached, he decided to self-publish a book, Covid Christmas Parade, which tells the story of a boy spreading festive cheer during the pandemic. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to the National Literacy Trust. When he wrote to Amazon to explain his fundraising efforts throughout the year, the company donated a further £1,000 to the charity in his name.

In January 2021, Milan’s epic fundraising efforts were recognised by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and he received a Points of Light award. These are given to outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their communities.

Most recently, he has walked 10k for the National Literacy Trust’s ‘Where’s Wally Weekender’ to raise even more money for the charity, and has become penpals with residents in care homes across the UK as part of the charity’s writing project ‘My Dear New Friend’.

Milan is a worthy finalist in the Young Person of the Year Award category of the Bolton News Lockdown Hero Awards.

The Awards will also celebrate the town’s Education Hero, Shopworker of the Year, Environmental Worker of the Year, Emergency Services Award of the Year, Community Champion of the Year, Business of the Year, Hospitality Hero Award, Everyday Hero Award, Carer of the Year Award, NHS Hero of the Year Award, and Outstanding Contribution Award.

The virtual ceremony will take place on 31 March, and each category winner will receive a unique handcrafted trophy, machined from solid oak, which has been designed and manufactured by Bolton business Handrail Creations.

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