Houghton teenager wins award for courage

Connor Rowntree received the Diana Courageous Citizen Award from Paralympian Martine Wright.

Connor Rowntree received the Diana Courageous Citizen Award from Paralympian Martine Wright.

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AN inspirational teenager has picked up a national award for his courage.

Doctors gave Houghton’s Connor Rowntree little chance of survival when he suffered 90 per cent burns after a horrific accident.

But the brave youngster battled through and now works with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service fronting safety campaigns.

This week, the 18-year-old travelled to London where he was presented with the prestigious Diana Courageous Citizen Award, by volleyball Paralympian Martine Wright.

At 15, Connor was engulfed in flames when he and a friend were messing about with petrol and aerosols.

The Wearside teenager made an excellent recovery and has since worked with the fire service, including making an educational DVD that has been shown to 12,000 young people and travelling around the country to raise awareness of fire safety.

The college student has recently set up The Connor Rowntree Project to raise awareness of the dangers and consequences of misuse/abuse of fire, fireworks, aerosols and all other flammable substances amongst young people in particular.

Connor, who was one of 8,000 people chosen to carry the Olympic Torch, said: “I was delighted to receive the Diana Award.”

Julie Mullen, crew manager at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Services who nominated him for the award, said: “He is truly inspirational.”

Paralympic volleyball player Martine Wright, who was injured in the London 7/7 bombings in 2005, said the winners were inspiring their generation to take a positive role in their communities.