Brave Ben, 14, is rewarded for his endeavours at drama school

Benjamin Hobson receiving his Inspiration award from 'Britain's Got Talent' stars Johnathan and Charlotte
Benjamin Hobson receiving his Inspiration award from 'Britain's Got Talent' stars Johnathan and Charlotte

A BEXHILL teenager, left unable to walk or talk after suffering a cardiac arrest as a baby, has overcome adversity and won an Inspiration Award.

Benjamin Hobson, 14, took first place in the Endeavour category of the Stagecoach Inspiration Awards presented at the Victoria Palace Theatre, home of Billy Elliot the Musical, in December. Benjamin has been attending Stagecoach Theatre School, Hastings, for two years.

A spokesperson for the school described him as a “truly inspirational student”, adding: “He has boundless energy and enthusiasm and has made great progress. Benjamin has faced challenges in his life which is why his mum - Michelle Hobson - thought Stagecoach might be good for him.”

Billy Elliot the Musical is helping Stagecoach Theatre Arts recognise and reward inspirational young people who have faced adversity, demonstrated bravery, shown courage, cared for others, or proved they are good role models.

The Stagecoach Inspiration Awards were created to celebrate inspirational young people and were launched in 2009 at the House of Commons.

Michelle said after Benjamin suffered a cardiac arrest at just 22 months old, his future was uncertain.

“He was left unable to move, talk or walk. No one knew if he would be blind, deaf or ever walk again.

“As his mum I was determined I would leave no stone un-turned and I would do everything possible for him.

“It took around four months before Benjamin could make a sound and slowly began to move very slightly.

“We had daily physio, occupational therapy, hydro therapy and in time speech and language, spending many many hours in hospital or therapy rooms. Slowly over the last 12 years Benjamin has learnt skills again but will have life long disability from his brain injury.”

Michelle said around two years ago Benjamin was desperate to join a drama class but initially she was cautious. “He attends a special needs school so for me this was a scary thought – a drama class in the ‘real world’.

“Nearly two years on Benjamin loves everything about Stagecoach. He struggles with quick, precise movements but, he still works very hard in dance and passed his grade four Performance Arts Award earlier this year.

“He loves the social interaction and being able to express himself.”

“He has grown in confidence and even walks taller!

“I am very, very proud of him”.