A teenager from Walton-le-Dale has been presented with an award by the Prime Minister, in recognition of his efforts to help improve mental health for young people.
Monty Lord, who is the Head Boy at St Joseph's High in Bolton, can now add the Prime Minister’s ‘Point of Light’ award to his growing collection of accolades, which includes holding two Guinness World Records, publishing a bestselling book aged seven, and presenting a recent research project remotely to the UN in Geneva.
Over the last couple of years, the this 15-year-old school pupil has devoted much of his free time to not only helping those with mental health disorders but also raised awareness of mental health issues, saving people from suicide and depression, bringing about positive change and making life better for many others in the community. As well as studying a semester-long course in psychology from Harvard University, his own research was used by NHS Public Health England.
He was previously recognised with the British Citizen Youth Award, receiving video messages from several well-known celebrities. He now acts as an ambassador for their awards.
This week, Monty was presented with a Points of Light award from the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for his positive community impact and forming the UK registered charity Young Active Minds, at just 14 years old. In a personal letter to Monty, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Congratulations on all that you have done over the last year to help other young people. From your pioneering peer research, to the creation of your app, you have opened up conversations around mental wellbeing which are more important than ever at the moment. Through your charity ‘Young Active Minds’ you are also making a fantastic contribution to learning and mental wellbeing.”
Monty first learnt of the news during a zoom call with his MP, The Rt Hon Nigel Evans, who wrote to the Prime Minister to nominate Monty for the award. On receiving the Prime Minister’s award, Monty said:
“I am lost for words. I felt very honoured to be presented with this award from the Prime Minister. I think every person, in their own small way, has helped their friends, families and neighbours throughout this difficult time. It’s testament to the great British spirit that we are resilient and help each other to pull through such difficult times. I would like to thank the Prime Minister and the Points of Light awards programme for this wonderful recognition.”
Monty’s father Fabian expressed how proud he is of his son, saying:
"It was a very defining moment of parental pride to receive the call about Monty's achievement. It's incredible to see young people from all backgrounds being awarded in such ways and shows just how integral children and young people are in today's society as drivers of positive change."
Commenting on his constituent's achievements, MP Nigel Evans said:
“It was a genuine pleasure to be able to let Monty know about his award from the Prime Minister, as it was a complete shock to him but it clearly meant a lot to receive it. His accolades speak for themselves, but his efforts so far have been inspiring, and he has directly helped improve young people’s mental health. Monty has a bright future ahead of him, and I look forward to seeing where he goes in the future”.
Monty attributes a lot of his successes and recent achievements to his time with the Royal Marines cadets at the Preston Sea Cadets corps, and the many varied skills and experiences that youth cadet organisations provide for children of all backgrounds.
Looking to the future, Monty is continuing to build upon his efforts in raising awareness of mental health issues through further research and the valuable work as a member of the CAMHS.Digital team, part of Greater Manchester Mental Health. Whilst his other world record attempts had to be twice postponed due to the periods of national lockdown, Monty is now looking to break an additional 4 records in early April as well as doing one live as part of his TEDx talk. He’s also continuing with his work as the Chair of the United Nations Association in Bolton and currently written over 100,000 words of his next book, ‘The Art of War in the 21st Century’ which is due out in the later Spring.