A student of Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith has been announced as a runner up in the Creatives Category of the prestigious Pearson Education World Changer Awards.

Year 8 student Zach Graham received the runners up award for raising more than £2000 for the NHS Charities Together with his Painted Pebble Funding Fountain during lockdown.

The Creatives Category of the awards was based on changing the world through creativity, expression and perspective.

“I know all too well how it feels to suffer with viral illnesses as the usual ones affect me so badly,” said Zach, 13.

“I was super excited when author Liz Pichon sponsored a pebble, and the team from Carol Vordermans Maths Factor did, too.

“When we went into lockdown I got painting and encouraged people to sponsor me to paint from my NHS Fundraising Fountain to support the NHS in their battle against Covid-19.”

Instead of selling his pebbles, Zach decided to raise money by having people sponsor him to paint them.

This is not Zach’s only fundraising venture, and his ‘turning trash into treasure’ idea has proved to be equally successful so far.

Since Christmas Zach had collected 15,000 stamps in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance Service.

Zach’s mother, Heather Graham, said: “Zach has got a really strong conscience and he’s very kind hearted because he knows from first hand experience what it’s like to struggle with asthma.

“I was really pleased for him when the award came through. It was completely unexpected but its really nice for him.

“Children, like the rest of us, have been feeling very isolated during the last 12 months so its a wonderful piece of encouragement.”

Zach has set himself a target of collecting 100,000 stamps by autumn.

Help Zach out and visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ZachGraham1 to donate your unwanted stamps.