A SEA cadet who rose to the ranks of commanding officer of the Middlesbrough group has won a Teesside Hero award for his commitment and youth development work.

Matthew Stamp became a sea cadet when he was 13 and worked his way up to become a member of staff on his 18th birthday.

Now aged 29, Mr Stamp has received a Teesside Hero award and recognition from the Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, which has backed Middlesbrough Sea Cadets financially in the past.

Mr Stamp displayed his leadership qualities when the group’s headquarters at the Old Lodge, next to Albert Park lake, flooded late last year, leaving the kitchen and main deck afloat.

He worked tirelessly to save the facility, cleaning from early morning until late at night.

Despite the adversity and loss of members after the flood, Mr Stamp never gave up and added new recruits. The unit now has ten staff members and 30 cadets, which earned it the annual McBeath Trophy award for meritorious performance.

And the unit recently collected £2,500 for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

Mr Stamp, a teaching assistant at King Edwin School in Norton, said: “I’m shocked and amazed to win a Teesside Hero award, it’s very flattering and humbling."

He received his award from Middlesbrough mayor and Teesside Philanthropic founder Andy Preston, together with a welcome £1,000 cheque for the unit.