A young film-maker from Thurrock has been nominated for a top national award for shining the spotlight on autism and thanks to his work with a Carmarthenshire-based charity.
Samuel Turner, 24, is among the nominees in the positive role model (disability) category of the National Diversity Awards (NDA).
The awards’ positive role model category recognises an individual within the community who shows selflessness, drives change and works tirelessly to inspire others.
Samuel first started making films when he was just 11 years old and in 2019 won an award at the Wales International Film Festival in Neath for his short film about overcoming the obstacles of living with autism.
He has also raised more than £2,000 for the charity Cerebra UK – which has its headquarters in Carmarthen – by doing runs, and community events.
He has been a ‘star volunteer’ for the charity for the past three years.
Last year Sam was also named ITV Fundraiser of the Year for the Pride of Britain Awards.
He is pictured above with his dad Barry and personal assistant Melanie Clarke.
Speaking about being nominated for the National Diversity Awards, Sam said:
“Being autistic I’ve suffered all my life and it makes it hard sometimes, but I am able to inspire people and that makes me proud.
“It is important to share awareness about my condition beyond those with autism and learning difficulties.
“Being nominated for this year’s NDA is totally surreal.
“I am also really proud of what I have achieved so far.”
Samuel’s parents Barry and Jacky Turner said he has relished doing projects for Cerebra and has come along way since a young lad when he was unable to talk due to his condition.
Barry said: “He didn’t talk until he was aged seven and to see him today and the way he gets the message out there about autism is wonderful, he can talk for Britain.
“We used to live in Thurrock and only moved here 18 months ago but Sam is still eager to do all he can for Cerebra like he did in the south of England.”
Alongside making a short film about autism Sam also recently made a video blog about going for his first Covid-19 jab.
He said “I wanted to show how it all worked for anyone with autism who maybe felt unsure or nervous.”
Voting for this year’s NDA close on June 4 and Sam can be nominated online here.
Winners will be announced later this year.