Outstanding cadet, Jake Walker has just been named ‘Young Champion’ at the 1 Million Minutes Awards.
17-year-old, Jake has devoted himself to supporting others and making sure that nobody is left behind.
A keen army cadet, Jake read the book, Broken By War by Afghanistan veteran, Anthony Lock and was inspired to raise awareness and funds to support military personnel and veterans who are lonely and isolated.
The Not Forgotten nominated Jake for the 1 Million Minutes award, after noting his continued exceptional work with the Armed Forces Community.
Jake marched 65 miles in 23 hours to raise money for SSAFA, all whilst wearing his army boots. He was dehydrated, suffering from exhaustion, but determined to make it to the end, and raised over £6,000.
After winning a Nairac Youth Award for saving his friend’s life in a swimming pool in France, he gave the winner’s cheque to The Not Forgotten, to help them with supporting lonely and isolated veterans.
But beyond his fundraising, Jake embodies the values of a Young Champion in day-to-day life. From helping an 80-year-old woman sell poppies because he didn’t want her to be left alone, to hording chocolate on trips to the supermarket so he could give them to veterans who don’t have families at Christmas time.
Jake even kept 60 boxes of toiletries from a closing down store in his family living room, so he could send them to SSAFA as part of their welfare pack for veterans.
He is very active on Twitter and keeps up-to-date with many members of the armed forces community online. Many suffer from PTSD, and he is always present to give them a positive message when they’re feeling down, offer support, and check in on those who need help.
After being revealed as Young Champion, Jake dedicated his award to the Armed Forces Community:
Celebrities Bear Grylls and Richard Arnold both offered Jake their own messages of congratulations for Jake’s hard work and dedication.
Congratulations, Jake! We are all incredibly proud of what you have achieved.