Congratulations to Matthew Cook, Heart of Worcestershire College (HoW College) Level 2 Digital and Creative Media student, who has been awarded the prestigious Cornwell Scout Badge for his outstanding courage, determination and devotion to scouting!
Matthew joined the Beaver Scouts at the age of just six and has now received a rare award, the Cornwell Scout Badge. This award recognises devotion to duty, courage and endurance and was awarded to Matthew due to his continuous commitment to Scouts, despite facing significant health challenges.
Matthew has faced significant health challenges throughout his life and was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis at the age of eight after experiencing a series of epileptic fits which lead to the discovery of several brain tumours. Since his diagnosis, Matthew has undergone surgery to remove a brain tumour and has faced new challenges in all aspects of his life, including needing new levels of support, fatigue, physical limitations, ongoing tumour monitoring, continued chemotherapy and potential hear loss.
Despite these health conditions limiting his participation, Matthew has continued with his scouting journey and was able to earn his Chief Scouts’ Bronze Award and has participated in various scouting activities including completing the District Dovetrek challenge, a 12-mile activity hike, before lockdown. As well as this he also participated in Zoom meetings during lockdown and transitioned into Explorer Scouts.
Speaking about his journey and time as a Scout, Matthew said:
“Scouting allows me to be me, I can do as much as I can with the support of my friends despite my limitations. Scouting gives me a freedom from hospitals and lets me have a normal Life. Dovetrek was so hard and pushed me to my limit, I also got scout of the year in my last year of Scouts!”
This remarkable achievement marks the first occurrence of a Cornwell being awarded within Warwickshire and so really highlights Matthew’s exceptional character and commitment to Scouts. Despite needing another surgery on his ankle and the health conditions he faces day in and day out, Matthew is determined to overcome limitations and continue scouting for as long as physically possible.