'Animal lover' teen from Sheffield has raised £30,000 for national animal charities
Storm Burgess absolutely adores animals.
For the last four years, the 14-year-old has committed herself to supporting animals around the UK, raising an incredible £30,000 for various animal charities.
And now, the Sheffield Park Academy student has been nominated for a national award, in recognition of her dedication.
Storm’s mum, Tracy, said: “I’m just so proud of everything Storm has achieved in the last few years, and I really think she deserves to win.
“£30,000 is an incredible amount for someone so young to raise. It all began four years ago when Storm decided she was going to ask people to donate pet food, and managed to collect over £1,500 of food, toys, and treats to dispatch to animals charities for Christmas 2015. As well as keeping this up over the years, she’s hosted charity nights, raffles, tombolas, and buk bakes – where she gets sponsors to bake buns, which she then sells.
“She also donates most of her pocket money, she never stops.”
Amazingly, Storm – who has a number of pets herself, and dreams of one day being a vet – began her charity work during a difficult time in her own life, when she began to suffer a number of serious health problems. Firstly, doctors began investigating a severe cough she'd had for several years, which was initially misdiagnosed as cystic fibrosis, and then she started having problems with her eyes and was told she could lose her sight. But instead of letting it get her down, and to the amazement of her family, Storm decided to distract herself from her problems, by helping animals.
Tracy added: “She takes most of the money she raises herself to local rescues that reward her with time spent with the animals – whether it’s walking the dogs, sitting with cats, or even helping to muck out hedgehogs and bats. She gets so much out of it.”
Storm, who lives with her family in Litteldale, has previously won other awards, including an Animal Hero Award in London, where she got to walk the red carpet and meet a number of celebrities, including two of her heroes, Paul O’Grady, and Noel Fitzpatrick, and has been guest of honour at the House of Lords.
Storm said: “I like to help animals as they have no voice, humans can look after themselves, but animals can’t.
“Animals are the most important thing to me and if I can help save one life then my life is happier, I feel I do so little really but, for one animal who I’ve helped, I know it’s so big.”
The Animal Star Awards ceremony will be held in Portsmouth on October 19.