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Time to honour our Hampshire Heroes
A SEARCH to find selfless heroes living in the heart of the community begins today.
The Daily Echo is launching the Hampshire Heroes Awards to honour those who have gone the extra mile for those people in their neighbourhood.
In association with bus company First Hampshire and Dorset, we are looking for people who have put others before themselves – either by working for charity or for doing a brave or selfless act.
Our first award, for the month of September, goes to brave Nelson Fonangwan, who really is a hero for saving the life of a toddler trapped inside a burning Southampton home.
Sixteen-year-old Nelson’s heroism began when his neighbour Aneta Jedlikoswka was locked out of her Shirley house as she took the rubbish out while cooking breakfast with her two-year- old son Adam inside. Mum-of-two Aneta frantically tried to smash in the living room window of the house in Romsey Road as smoke began to fill the kitchen from the burning pan.
Two-year-old Adam was in the living room and was peering out at her through the window and knocking on the glass as the smoke got thicker and thicker.
Nelson, who was asleep in bed, heard her desperate screams and dashed out to help while his mother called 999.
He smashed his way through the window and rescued the toddler by carrying him through billowing black smoke.
After giving the toddler to his distraught mother Nelson then went back into the home to take the burning pan off the stove.
At the time Aneta hailed Nelson as a “hero” – and he can prove it now that he has been made a Hampshire Hero.
Nelson, who is originally from Cameroon, in West Africa, said: “Thank you for the award. I’m really happy. I’m really honoured. Everybody is really with me, really proud. The school have been telling me that I can’t think that I should do what I did all the time.”
And Nelson’s heroism has been bringing no end of benefit to his street cred.
“It’s been getting me quite a lot of attention,” he said.
“Normally not a lot of people know me, but now when I walk into college everyone says my name, they give me high-fives.”
Chris Bainbridge, service delivery director for First South Coast, said: “What a positive story to kick off these new awards with. Nelson’s actions exemplify the ideals we hope Hampshire Heroes will continue to reward – he kept a cool head, coming to the aid of his neighbours in an emergency, displaying quick thinking, courage and a dash of heroism.
“We think he is more than deserving of the first ever Hampshire Heroes award. Well done Nelson – you’re a hero!”
- If there is anyone who you know who deserves recognition for their selflessness then contact Ed Stilliard at email@example.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 023 8042 4445.