FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD Joe Hooper has been a rock to his family since his father died suddenly two years ago.

He was among those recognised at the 2014 Pride of Somerset Youth Awards, run by the Rotary Club of Taunton, the Somerset County Gazette series and BBC Somerset.

Joe has supported his mum and younger siblings with extra cuddles and care, and regularly phones his grandparents to check they are coping.

He has also raised more than £800 for the RNLI in his dad’s memory with a sponsored cycle ride.

At Heathfield School he has taken major roles in productions saying he ‘forgets about everything else when he is in character.

And his next challenge will be in Africa – where he is heading later this year to help teach local children.

He was nominated by his grandmother for looking out for his family and worrying about others during such a difficult time.

The awards were sponsored by Taunton Rotary Club, Avon and Somerset Police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue, Somerset Cricket Museum and Somerset College.