A FORMER “Child of Courage” is encouraging other youngsters to reach for their dreams.

Colin Antink, 18, who suffers from a rare condition that is causing his sight, mobility and hearing to deteriorate, has continued to inspire others since receiving a Pride of Bracknell award in 2007 - so much so that this year five people have nominated him again!

Colin, pictured, who lives in Wokingham and for more than two years has written a touching and humorous column for the News and its sister paper the Midweek, said: “I was surprised the first time and I’m still surprised now! I would like to say thank you to everyone who has nominated me.” Colin and his mother, Lynne Antink, both have Stickler syndrome, which causes problems including joint stiffness making it hard to walk.

Despite the pain, Colin helps his mother, works in a charity shop and is just setting up his own computer repair business. Wokingham resident, Linda Raye, was one of those who nominated Colin for an award this year, writing: “I think this lad is a hero in many ways and deserves some recognition.” Jean Bennet, also from Wokingham, added: “I have read his stories in the Midweek since he began writing about two or three years back and I have followed him through his trials and tribulations, experiences and opinions, and have enjoyed every one! This boy deserves some recognition for his selfless courage. ” Despite the pain, Lynne says that Colin goes the extra mile to help her. She said: “This boy is so brave, I can’t begin to explain the many little things he does for me and for others. I’m so proud of my hero.” Lynne said that getting the award really boosted Colin’s confidence and said: “I think people should be encouraged to put their heroes through for the nomination because these people do all these kind of things behind the scenes and no one else sees it. It would do them so much good to be recognised publicly and see that they are doing a good job.” Colin added: “It makes the people who are nominated feel wanted.” The Pride of Bracknell awards, held with Bracknell Regeneration Partnership, aim to highlight the selfless work done by ordinary people to make the world a brighter place.