Overcoming Adversity Award for Local Ukrainian Schoolboy

Vitali Andronik came to Fulham Cross Academy last year

Winners at the annual Hammersmith & Fulham Youth Achievement Awards
Winners at the annual Hammersmith & Fulham Youth Achievement Awards

A Fulham Cross Academy pupil who came to London last year after his country was invaded by Russia has won an Overcoming Adversity youth award.

Vitali Andronik was given the award for being a young person who has overcome and persevered through challenges and has shown resilience in overcoming a difficult situation with a selfless focus on the local community.

The annual Hammersmith & Fulham Youth Achievement Awards provide an opportunity to showcase extraordinary achievements and diversity of talent in the local area. Vitali’s award was sponsored by Television Centre.

Displaced by the war, Vitali came to West London in 2022 without his parents. He is named after Vitali Klitschko, world champion boxer and current Mayor of Kyiv. “My mates call me Mr Klitschko.”

The award was given for the way he managed the transition helping other Ukrainian students as he did so. Vitali also supports his peers by taking up an admin role at a local school.

He has worked hard to improve his language skills and recently represented his school as a tour guide during an Open Evening. “Honestly winning this award was a surprise. My English teacher submitted my nomination and I’m grateful for that,” he said while holding his award. “English isn’t my first language, so the subject is a bit difficult, but I like writing and enjoy the lessons.”

He is committed to this role and speaks passionately about his desire to contribute to this community, ensuring that these students, like him, feel safe and that they feel able to make a fresh start. One award nomination said, “This young man, despite the traumas he has faced and continues to face, epitomises resilience, courage and empathy and we are privileged to have him at our school.”

Vitali’s parents couldn’t be there but, he was supported on the night by his very proud older sister and four-year-old nephew.

Another award winner from the local area was 22—year-old Camille Holder who was named Young Volunteer for her work at the Sands End Arts & Community Centre, being an active member of the Youth Forum for The Royal Society of Blind Children and for taking part in a film by H&F Mencap.

“I’ve worked at Sands End since October and do lots of bits and bobs behind the scenes there. It’s a pretty cool place to work. I’ve also just officially become a mentor for a girl named Sophie, which I love,” said Camille, explaining her nomination.

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