Ben presented with award for overcoming adversity

A TEENAGER who almost died when he was a toddler has been chosen as May’s Outstanding Young Person of the Month.

Benjamin Hobson, 16, who has beaten adversity and found a flair for singing, dancing and drama, was nominated by his singing teacher, Louise Fletcher, from the Hastings branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts.

The teenager was fit and healthy until he was nearly two years old.

Following a severe bout of croup, a respiratory condition usually triggered by a viral infection of the upper airway, he suffered major complications and was left fighting for his life in intensive care.

He now attends St Mary’s Special School & College in Bexhill, as well as Stagecoach every Saturday.

Mum Michelle said: “Benjamin announced three years ago that he wanted to be part of a drama group and Stagecoach in Hastings welcomed him. He has the opportunity to sing, dance and act and he gives it his everything.

“He loses himself in drama and what he achieves is phenomenal. He’s had to overcome so much and he’s grown up to be a really wonderful young man who inspires others.”

The Outstanding Young Person of the Month Award is sponsored by the Hastings Observer Series and Sussex Coast College Hastings.

Each month, the award is presented to someone aged 18 and under who has excelled in some way, perhaps in sport or their academic studies, or has performed an important role on a voluntary basis in their home or the wider community.

Lauren Fry, marketing projects executive at Sussex Coast College Hastings, said: “Benjamin is a star in the making! He gets an enormous amount of pleasure from his drama classes and I was pleased to recognise his commitment by presenting him with the Outstanding Young Person of the Month Award.”

As part of his award, Benjamin will receive a complimentary meal for two and £100 for Stagecoach.

To nominate someone for the Outstanding Young Person Award, please email with details of who you are nominating and the reasons why.