Northampton’s Male Role Model of the Year winners announced

Published: Monday, 02 December 2019

A mentor helping young people find a way out of gangs and a nine-year-old fundraiser were the winners of Northampton’s Male Role Model of the Year awards.

The awards, which recognise the important contributions local men and boys make in their communities, families, schools and workplace, were hosted by Northampton Borough Council on 22 November, as part of International Men’s Day celebrations.

Mentor Anton Nobel, Winner of the ‘Inspirational Man’ award, delivers a gang intervention programme through his organisation Guiding Young Minds, aimed at reducing gang violence and supporting those involved in gangs to live a life free of crime.

Anton is an ex-gang member who turned his own life around and now inspires others to do the same. He has helped over 100 young people involved in gangs to find a way out, by working on one of the most successful gang intervention programmes in the UK.

He was described in his nomination form as someone who has an ability to inspire the hardest to engage in our communities and someone who speaks with such passion, supporting, encouraging and building trust.

The Special Recognition Award, which highlights a special individual achievement, was presented to nine-year-old Tommy Griffin Boyd, who completed a sponsored swim and raised over £800 for Harry Restall, a boy he had never met.

Six-year-old Harry, who also attended the awards, has cerebral palsy and cannot currently stand or walk unaided. He has survived several serious illnesses and suffers physical pain every day.

Harry needed intensive physiotherapy following complex neurosurgery to allow him to walk. Tommy saw Harry’s fundraising plight on Facebook and wanted to help him achieve his dream of walking independently for the first time in his life. The money he raised paid for intensive physiotherapy for Harry.

A spokesperson for Northampton Borough Council said: “Anton and Tommy are truly inspirational winners, and such wonderful male role models, who have made a huge difference to the lives of others.

“We would also like to congratulate all of the shortlisted nominees and thank everyone who supported this extremely important awareness day, which not only recognised the contribution of local men and boys, but also aimed to raise awareness of male mental health.”

Organisations including Mind, Engage, Men in Sheds, the Samaritans, the Lewis Foundation, Northampton Town Football Club and EVE Crisis Pathway also attended the event, offering information and advice to the public. 

Later that same day, an evening of live music and comedy was held at the Charles Bradlaugh pub, raising almost £400 for The Grey Dog Trust, a national charity providing mental health support to young people and schools.