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A teenager has raised thousands of pounds to help pay for the training of student nurses after being inspired by the dedication of NHS staff during the pandemic.

The remarkable Tahlia Poretta raised the cash to help more student nurses to qualify.

Now the 15 year old has been shortlisted for one of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Outstanding Citizens Awards.

The PCC awards recognise the impact people have made in their local communities and honour the unsung heroes of our region who make us safer and happier.

Thalia raised £2,500 by asking people to pay to name a scarecrow nurse she’d built. The money raised was donated to Coventry University to go towards a bursary for one Nursing Associate student. Because the course cannot receive financial support from the Government in the way most other degrees can, Thalia’s generous donation is helping a future nurse who might not have otherwise been able to train.

Thalia has never met the student nurse who benefitted from her donation but hopes to when it is safe to do so.

Waheed Saleem, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Tahlia’s impact is the reason the Outstanding Citizens Awards exist. It is clear that she has changed the lives of people around her.

“Her selfless actions show the determination and vision our young people have in the face of the extraordinary and difficult challenges of the pandemic.

“Tahlia is an outstanding young COVID-19 heroine, and I am extremely pleased that she has been nominated for this award. Her community is extremely lucky to have her.”

She was nominated by her grandmother, Pru Poretta, who said: “Tahlia is a truly wonderful girl.

“Through her initiative and dedication to improving the lives of those around her, she has changed the lives of people. She has only continued to uplift and inspire those around her during the lockdown.

“Through the nursing bursary the money Thalia raised has helped the NHS get even stronger and invest in the next generation in what has been a difficult time for our country.

“I am extremely proud that her efforts are being recognised by the Police and Crime Commissioner.”

The Outstanding Citizens Awards take place this Friday.

The other categories up for award are: Outstanding Young Community Project, Outstanding Community Project, Outstanding Young Citizen, Outstanding Citizen, Key Worker Hero Award, Young Hero Award, Volunteer Hero Award, and Community Organisation Hero Award.

You can watch the awards here:

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