Blake becomes youngest recipient of Chairman’s Medal

Blake with Cllr Kellett and his parents Victoria Duke and David Stephenson after receiving his award.
Blake with Cllr Kellett and his parents Victoria Duke and David Stephenson after receiving his award.

A nine-year-old who saved another boy from drowning has become the youngest ever recipient of the Chairman’s Medal, the highest honour in County Durham.

Blake Stephenson pulled the French boy from the bottom of a swimming pool and dragged him to the side for help while on holiday in the summer.

His mum and another member of the public then performed CPR until emergency services arrived and although the boy was placed in a medically-induced coma, he later made a full recovery.

Blake was presented with the medal at Kirk Merrington Primary School by the Chairman of Durham County Council, Cllr Bill Kellett, Schools Aquatic Development Manager David Bullen, a representative from the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) and his headteacher Nicola Murray.

The humble lifesaver becomes the youngest ever recipient of the medal, following Olympic gymnast Amy Tinkler who received the award last year.

Blake also received a Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) Commendation and 125th anniversary badge.

Following the ceremony, Blake said: “I feel very excited – I didn’t think I would get an award and I didn’t realise how special they are.

“A lot of people have come to see me, my sister is very grumpy that I’m getting all of this attention!”

Cllr Kellett said: “Blake’s quick-thinking and heroic actions saved a young person’s life and highlight the importance of learning vital lifesaving skills and how to act in an emergency.

“I am delighted to be able to present him with this medal, one of our most prestigious civic honours.”

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