We’re delighted to share the news that young adult carer Levi Major was this week named asthe Individual Winner of the Nairac Award at a major ceremony at Gloucester Cathedral.
These annual Awards are named in memory of Captain Nairac from Standish, who joined the Second Battalion Grenadier Guards in January 1973. In 1977, at the age of 28 and during his second tour of duty in Northern Ireland, he disappeared. It later transpired that he had been abducted, tortured and murdered by Irish terrorists. In February 1979 it was announced that Her Majesty The Queen had approved the posthumous award of the George Cross, the highest honour for gallantry in peacetime, to Captain Nairac, whose body has not yet been found.
The Awards were presented by Dame Janet Trotter, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for Gloucestershire and Patron of the Gloucestershire Branch of The Royal Society of St. George.
Levi Major is 18 years old and from Tewkesbury. He lives with his father and younger sister. He is a young carer for his father who has battled chronic heroin and alcohol addiction, subsequent methadone dependency but is now clean and in recovery. Sadly, his father has also recently been diagnosed with cancer but has undergone treatment for this.
In his caring role Levi helps with the household tasks and looks after his younger sister when needed. He also provides emotional support to his father, keeping him company – sitting with him, talking and listening – and monitoring his wellbeing.
He has never given in to the stigma surrounding parental substance misuse and instead has always been vocal about how proud he is of his father’s strength. His father has always been honest with his children about his life and struggles.
In addition to his home challenges Levi has worked hard to overcome social anxiety to get to a place where he is confident going out and meeting new people. His quiet confidence and strength of character has also been demonstrated in group work with other young carers.
Levi has chosen to give his Award cheque to Change Grow Live, a charity which champions people who have faced hardships such as addiction, homelessness and abuse, and supports them into recovery.