A 'LOCKDOWN hero’ who has autism has received recognition from the Mayor of Bolton - for helping others stay positive during the pandemic.

Dylan Cookson, 21, who lives in Great Lever, has been praised for being a ‘lockdown hero’, leaving inspiring messages online for all to see.

He plays for AFC Masters, a Horwich-based football club for children and adults with disabilities.

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Although Dylan has struggled during lockdown with the lack of routine and social interaction with his closest friends, he has spent a great deal of time spreading positive messages on local Facebook groups like ‘I belong to Bolton.’

Dylan, who attends Woodbridge College in Kearsley, even received a hamper from Morrison’s supermarket in Breightmet in December for keeping people’s spirits up during lockdown.

His efforts have led to him being recognised in an official capacity by Bolton Council.

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The certificate, given to Dylan by borough mayor, Cllr Linda Thomas, said:

“On behalf of the people of Bolton, I thank you for your selflessness, commitment and sheer determination to go above and beyond in the crisis.

“I commend you and offer my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for everything you have done.

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“Your work now, and in the future, will benefit generations to come and will not be forgotten.”

During lockdown, Dylan has kept himself busy by creating artwork and drawing cartoon characters - which is a passion of his.

He has also kept in touch with his friends and teammates by taking part in virtual quizzes online.

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Speaking to The Bolton News, he said: “When I got that certificate, I felt really touched and proud of myself.

“I want to be a role model to other people with autism and also to the younger generation - putting a smile on people’s faces.

“These are difficult times but we will all get through this together.”

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