TWELVE-year-old charity fundraiser Dante Valaydon-Pillay has been awarded the Pride of Gwent award a year after winning the the Sir Terry Wogan Young Fundraiser of the Year honour.

Raglan’s Dante is currently a quarter of the way through a year of challenges for Children in Need, with him just completing his third challenge of baking cakes for an old people’s home near his Raglan home.

He started fundraising for charity in 2022, when he climbed the Sugar Loaf near Abergavenny five times in five days.

At an awards ceremony held at Rodney Parade just before Christmas, the St John’s on-the-Hill pupil claimed two prizes for his work throughout the year, receiving the 2023 Pride of Gwent Fundraiser of the Year and the overall Pride of Gwent award.

His ambitious year of fundraising challenges started by climbing 120ft up the Clifton Gorge and then abseiling 90ft back down.

In November, he completed a 5k run by running 5 laps of Tredegar Park with Newport funrun, and then on December 20th, Dante took on his third challenge by making lunch and baking Christmas cakes for elderly residents of Penpergwm House between Raglan and Abergavenny.

The Penpergwm trip started with him being met by catering manager and award-winning cook Nikki Burrage and showed Dante into the kitchen to teach Dante some of her cooking secrets that have won her many cooking awards.

Dante not only helped to make lunch with Nikki, but also baked over 50 individual Christmas cakes to give to the elderly residents of the home.

Residents looked on with delight as he wheeled out the fully iced and adorned Christmas cakes, with one resident saying “isn’t it lovely to see a young person fundraising in this way.”

Dante also used his expertise as a music scholar at school by crafting a selection of Christmas carols that he performed to the residents as they enjoyed his baking creations.

He said on the success of his 3rd challenge that “I had a great day and loved meeting and cooking for the residents”.

Dante is now looking towards his fourth charity challenge in January and plans to spend a day in January with Newport Foodbank and their manager Jon Slocombe.

To support Dante in his year-long fundraiser, go to his JustGiving page.