Inspirational teenage Burnley actress, model, social media influencer and charity campaigner wins top national award
A successful and inspirational Burnley teenager has been honoured with a top national award.
Award winning actress and international model Lamissah La-Shontae received the Medal of Honour at the British Citizen Youth Awards which are held annually to recognise young members of the community who are making a difference.
The 14-year-old was among 23 extraordinary young people on the 2021 roll of honour for the awards scheme which is now in its fifth year. Nominations flooded in for the awards to recognise the achievements of youngsters like Lamissah who, despite the pandemic, have continued to show kindness and commitment to their community.
Lamissah was presented with her award at the Palace of Westminster by Nicky Cox MBE, Patron of the awards and Editor of First News.
The glittering event was hosted by television presenter Anthea Turner, who was full of praise for the recipients.
She said: " “This group of British Citizen Youth Award medallists represented community leadership, tech for good, climate campaigns and social conscience.
"Having met them all, it made me more confident of the future than I have felt for some time.
"These are amazing young people who deserve this recognition and I hope others aspire to be like them."
Lamissah began helping others when she was just five after losing her grandfather and seeing her younger brother, Xavier (11) suffer with complex health conditions. Visiting her brother at various hospitals, Lamissah saw many sick children and adults which inspired her to start her journey to fundraising and various awareness campaigns for many different charities.
She began by raising funds for underprivileged children globally through The Rainbow Child Foundation by taking part in a natural pageant representing her hometown and country in Paris.
Lamissah has raised £10,000 through a series of events including a sponsored swim, charity kids' day, fashion shows, a fundraising walk and sponsored carol singing.
Having seen many children with underlying health issues, Lamissah’s empathetic nature sees her regularly visit children’s hospitals, where she will read to the children or be an ear to listen to them, giving them some sense of normality. She has created Christmas boxes and gift bags all from her own pocket, wanting them to have something to open and look forward to.
Lamissah has done all this excellent work despite suffering her own health scare when she had to have a benign skin melanoma removed. But she turned the experience into a positive for others by working on a worldwide campaign which shows models with scars in every aspect, from cancer to burns.
Lamissah's work has earned her the honour of becoming an ambassador for several charities, organisations and brands.
She is also a successful actress, international model, blogger, and 'influencer' with a huge presence on social media, racking up over 200,000 followers on Instagram. Lamissah is keen to use her voice and influence to support people of all ages in all aspects of mental health, abuse and bullying.
As an actress Lamissah has worked with several leading directors, actors and celebrities and she has won a series of roles in a wide range in a number of television series and dramas, feature films and short films and also mainstream and indie music videos.
A student at Shuttleworth College in Padiham, Lamissah lives with her parents,, Zohra and Shahid Bhatti and she also has three older brothers, Sajjad (29,) Naushad( 27) and 23-year-old Hamza.
She has modelled in both London and Paris fashion weeks and also Orlando's Top Model contest. She has taken part in Liverpool Fashion Week and recently took to the catwalk for the a fashion show in Birmingham to raise money for the charity MIND.
Lamissah's proud mum said: "The list of selfless acts of kindness and support for others Lamissah has shown for is endless.
"She just wants to make a difference in the world, and now, having the platform that she's worked so hard to achieve it's much easier to help raise awareness and support charities close to her heart."