Praise has been heaped on the Bulwell man who won the Unsung Hero award at BBC TV’s annual ‘Sports Personality of the Year’ show.
Nottingham City Council has led the tributes for volunteer Keiren Thompson, who landed the accolade for his community work.
Keiren, 31, runs the ‘Helping Kids Achieve’ project, which provides sport sessions for children in Bulwell, Bestwood and St Ann’s.
He was inspired to get involved after being attacked at a house party in the same area of Nottingham when he was 17 years old.
He wanted to stop youngsters getting caught up in similar crime in the future and, after spending time in a children’s home and volunteering in Ghana, he returned to Bulwell to begin helping out.
Coun David Mellen, leader of the city council, said: “I’d like to offer my congratulations to Keiren. His work is making a real difference in our communities.
“Receiving such a prestigious, national award is testament to his efforts to improve these areas, and it shows the rest of the country what fantastic, selfless people we have in Nottingham.
“Keiren suffered an awful experience when he was attacked as a young man, and many people would not have been able to respond in such a positive way.
“He now pours his time and energy into educating youngsters and is clearly a role model in their eyes.
“He is well known to my colleagues who serve as ward councillors in Bulwell, and they speak of his inspirational work. Keiren is someone whom Nottingham can be very proud of.”
Keiren received his award in the full glare of national television and in front of a packed, star-studded audience in Aberdeen, where the show took place.
He was quick to thank the volunteers and young leaders who help him, and also the youngsters themselves and their parents.
‘Helping Kids Achieve’ is based at the Bulwell Riverside joint service centre on Main Street in the town.
Keiren currently runs four sessions each week and has also set up a weekend basketball team.
He plans to introduce new sessions on creativity, design, music and dance, plus workshops on employment skills and tackling crime and anti-social behaviour.