Hatfield teen nominated for prestigious award

PUBLISHED: 18:04 10 May 2017 | UPDATED: 18:04 10 May 2017

Elouise Wathen. Supplied by Young Person of the Year.

Elouise Wathen. Supplied by Young Person of the Year.

Archant

Elouise Wathen, of Hatfield, has been nominated for an award following her fundraising efforts after members of her family were struck down by cancer.

According to the old saying the show must go on.

However, when in the space of a few years you have lost three close family members to cancer and two others are being treated for the disease it takes a lot to produce, direct, write and appear in an all-singing, all-dancing night of entertainment.

But that’s just what Hatfield teen Elouise, of Fillingham Way, did and her big production in St Albans raised more than £5,000 for

In the audience at the Abbey Theatre, was her beloved uncle who is being treated for breast cancer which has spread to his lungs.

Now aged 15, Elouise has been nominated for the Mitsubishi Electric Young People of the Year awards or ‘YOPEYs’ – Oscars for young people who ‘give to others’.

Elouise was nominated by Shannon Cripps, her form tutor at Beaumont School in St Albans.

She said Elouise arranged the variety show and children’s musical workshops around it last May, when she was only 14, to raise money for Macmillan after family members were struck by cancer.

As well as her uncle battling the disease, Elouise’s maternal grandmother and both her grandfathers died from cancer. Her mum’s cousin is currently being treated for brain cancer.

Mum Susanna Cheek said it was a lot for a young person to bear and Elouise is particularly close to her uncle. “But she is incredibly strong and rather than just say ‘oh no, how awful’ Elouise said ‘what can we do to help?’”

Elouise admits putting on the shows was hard work.

She said: “I had a lot of help and support and it was stressful and quite overwhelming, but it was rewarding in so many ways.

“I wanted to support Macmillan because I have seen how valuable their work is helping those with cancer and their families, and cancer has touched our family in a big way.

“I didn’t do it for recognition or publicity, it was just something I wanted to do and it was nice to help Uncle Jonathan because he has helped me before, been there for me and we always have a good laugh.”

The annual contest has over £1000 to be won by young people who ‘give to others’.

A lavish awards ceremony will be held at Moor Park Mansion, Rickmansworth, this autumn. To nominate young people visit www.yopey.org. Entries close on July 31.

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