A YOUNG fundraiser has been presented with an award for his efforts to support people living with cancer.

Stephen Nicholson jr, of Bishop Auckland, was presented with one of only two charity t-shirts signed by legendary boxer Manny Pacquiou in recognition of his support for the Solan Connor Fawcett Family Cancer Trust.

The charity was created by Mark Solan, of Spennymoor, after he took part in a white-collar boxing event in 2015, raising money for Cancer Research UK in memory of his mother and grandmother.

He wanted to help improve the quality of life for those affected by cancer in the North-East and through the charity hopes to provide support to families in any way he can.

After donating money at a supermarket collection in aid of the charity, young Stephen enlisted the help of his father, Stephen Nicholson sr, owner and managing director of Stephen Nicholson & Sons, bespoke painter and decorators, to further support the charity’s work.

The company provides a variety of painting and decorating services from plastering to wallpaper hanging and interior and exterior decorating.

Mr Nicholson said: “Little Stephen had put some money in the tin at the supermarket and had got talking to Mark Solan from the charity.

"Mark told him that the charity helps people with cancer in many different ways and Stephen thought I might be able to do something to help.

“Since then, I’ve supported Mark with many decorating jobs for people who might just need a bit of a boost before or after their treatment.”

Stephen jr is also a keen amateur boxer and has raised money for the charity through boxing events.

The 12-year-old said: “I really enjoy helping people through the Solan charity.

"My dad and I have visited lots of people that the charity supports and have helped with their decorating, and it always puts a smile on their faces.

“I’m really pleased to get this award and hope other young people will start fundraising too.”

Solan Connor Fawcett Family Cancer Trust founder, Mr Solan added: “Charities like the Solan Cancer Trust rely on fundraising and volunteer support, so it’s fantastic when young people like Stephen want to help and get their families involved.

“On behalf of the trust, I would like to say congratulations to Stephen for getting the award. It is well deserved and he is a fantastic ambassador for the charity.”