A visually impaired teenager has won an aspiration award due to his resilience and determination to follow his dreams.

Oliver Poulter, from Whitworth Community High School, was born with a degenerative eye condition called Optic Atrophy that gradually leads to a loss of sight.

Despite this, the year 10 pupil who is a keen performer throws himself into his lessons, including dance, and is never phased by trips or falls – always picking himself up to try again.

Named as Against All Odds winner at this year’s Aspiration Awards - a national celebration created by the educational charity and leader in vocational and technical learning NCFE – Oliver is keen to inspire others to do the same.

He said: “I enjoy just being me and being able to dance in front of other people.

"It was quite a young age, around five, I started dancing at the local dance studio and I carried on from there doing more and more.

“Even though I do have struggles with my eyesight, school has been really helpful.

"It’s not just about me, it’s about other people as well that are always positive towards me, and I appreciate people that are always there and that are positive.

“It felt nice to know that people are more aware of it now and that when my brother, who’ll be joining in a couple of years - he’s also blind - it will be nice to know that he’ll have resources and he’ll have more help around the school.

“It’s good to know that there’s more for people with visual impairments.”

As well as showing resilience in his lessons, Oliver takes this into his wider school experience, including physical education and Duke of Edinburgh activities.

Despite all the challenges he faces, Oliver’s optimistic attitude to learning has a positive influence on his fellow learners who love to work with him.

The school’s drama and performing arts teacher, Alex White, added: “Oliver is a pleasure to teach, and I think people underestimate how difficult things are for him as he presents himself so well.

“I’m absolutely delighted that he has been recognised with this award, which shows him that we really value his effort and his attitude to life. He is someone who we could all learn a lesson from.”