Youngest person honoured says charity can start at any age

Fundraiser and anti-bullying ambassador, Junior Jay Frood
Fundraiser and anti-bullying ambassador, Junior Jay Frood

The youngest person recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours has said his “amazing” gong shows charity can start at any age.

Junior Jay Frood, 18, from Merseyside, has received a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to vulnerable children after campaigning against bullying, which he suffered from the age of six due to his love of dancing.

He created the #BoysCanDance anti-bullying social media campaign, backed by well-known figures including Diversity’s Ashley Banjo, which led to him being invited to Downing Street to talk to MPs.

Mr Frood told the PA news agency: “I feel really grateful and thankful. It shows how much my voice is being heard and I’m being heard from other people, and I really appreciate it because it’s a big honour and I’m really grateful to receive it.

Junior Jay Frood
Junior Jay Frood created the #BoysCanDance anti-bullying social media campaign

“I was bullied from a young age, just because I was a dancer, and people didn’t agree with it, but I carried on because it was my dream to be a dancer.

“And I wanted to help other people who were feeling the same way as I did, and experienced the same thing I had as well, so I created #BoysCanDance.

“It’s been really nice to speak to people and see their experiences and connect. I’ve raised money for various charities through dancing, through busking and dancing at events and stuff like that.”

The student has supported musical artists such as Justin Bieber and Little Mix, and has performed at the Royal Albert Hall and on the West End stage.

Since the age of 10 Mr Frood has raised more than £300,000 for anti-bullying causes.

He added: “It feels really amazing and good because it shows no matter how young you are you can receive this award.

“You can start from any age helping other people and helping the community.”