A DISABLED teenager has been hailed 'an amazing young person' after achieving the Chief Scout's Gold Award, the highest accolade in scouting.

Marlee Scott-Roberts, from Winsford, is the first member of 1st Darnhall Scout Group to have received the prestigious honour.

The 14-year-old has only one arm and has undergone major surgery on his legs three times yet he never lets his disabilities hold him back.

The Hebdon Green School pupil has conquered countless outdoor challenges, including learning how to cook over an open fire and how to safely use an axe and saw. He has built shelters, slept in a hammock and passed an emergency aid course.

On expeditions, he mastered navigation skills, using a compass and reading maps to complete hikes with a team.

In the water, Marlee has improved his canoeing, katacanoeing and swimming and demonstrated his ability to run round a forest in the dark with a head torch.

Chief scout Bear Grylls congratulated him on his survival skills with a personal message saying: "Great job. You've just gained the top award for scouts. It's an impressive milestone in your life and shows that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. You should feel very proud of everything you've achieved. Well done!"

Winsford Guardian:

Marlee and his proud mum Leverne

Marlee's determination and commitment has just won him a place on a European Scout Jamboree in Poland in July 2020 when he will join 16,000 scouts and guides from 65 countries to learn from each other.

His mum Leverne said: "Marlene was born with a missing left arm and has had multiple surgery on his legs. He had splints on his legs for six years to help him walk. He also has learning difficulties and a speech impediment so achieving this award is amazing.

"He was quite a shy boy when he started cubs six years ago but he has worked his way up.

"I am so proud of him. The scouts have given him every opportunity and nurtured him so that he has much more confidence.

"When he put his big gold certificate in a frame, he was beaming with pride."

The accomplished scout now shares his expertise volunteering as a young leader with cubs.

Cathy Bland, scout leader of 1st Darnhall Scouts and county administrator for Cheshire Scouts, said: "Marlee has done wonders. When he first came he was shy and wouldn't say anything.

"In scouts it's not about being the fastest, it is not a race. We welcome anyone who wants to join and treat everyone the same. It is all about testing an individual's determination and skills.

"Marlee does his best with every challenge we set him. He just gets stuck in to whatever the task is. He'll always find a way round things and keeps persevering.

"He has a heart of gold and never lets you down."

Marlee, who has four brothers, Vaun, 16, Rio, 13, Shaydon 11 and Zion, one, had to earn nine challenge badges and six activity badges.

Winsford Guardian:

Marlee and his mum Laverne who says scouting has given him the opportunity to grow in confidence

From the Anne Frank exhibition at Winsford library he discovered all about the Holocaust, discrimination and prejudice to gain the world challenge award.

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Marlee learnt Sign Language and gained his 'six knot challenge'.

After attending two big international camps, district and group camps, he achieved his 25 nights away badge and five hikes away badge.

"Marlee is a good team player and takes part in every activity," said Cathy. "He enjoys team building. His love of camping and the great outdoors has always been his favourite.

"He enjoys campfires, singing and performing sketches for the younger ones."

Every year Marlee volunteers with the poppy appeal, fundraises for the church and proudly carries the scout flag at the Remembrance Parade.

"He believes in himself," said Cathy. "He is a wonderful ambassador for scouting, an amazing young person.

"He is an excellent role model for the future."

Anyone who wishes to become a scout or adult volunteer can visit cheshirescouts.org.uk.