Sheffield teen nominated for top national award

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A teenage role model from Sheffield has been nominated in the 2015 National Diversity Awards.

Rebecca Parkin has been nominated in the ‘positive role model - disability’ category for the tireless work she has done to raise awareness of such issues as autism, mental health and bullying.

At the age of seven, Rebecca was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism.

She has experienced severe bullying, which ranged from verbal abuse to physical harassment, leading to her moving schools six times before her 14th birthday.

Now aged 17, Rebecca works as a youth patron for Ambitious about Autism, helping to ensure that young people aged 16 and over have a voice and receive the help they need.

She is also a Rotherham youth councillor, the 2014 Rotherham Young Volunteer of the Year, a Rotherham Ambassador, a Young Healthwatch Ambassador and a volunteer with ChildLine and the NSPCC.

In addition, she works as a YoungMinds Activist and has helped to promote their campaigns, including doing interviews with both local and national media.

Rebecca said: “It’s such an honour to be nominated for such a prestigious award. It’s amazing to be nominated alongside so many inspirational people that have made a massive difference.”

The National Diversity Awards 2015 will be held in Liverpool on September 18.

They aim to celebrate some of the excellent and inspiring achievements of positive role models and community organisations from across the country.

Shortlisted nominees will be announced at the end of June. Visit