A MALPAS boy has achieved one of the highest accolades of childhood – a Blue Peter badge – for his work in helping to raise awareness of stammers.

Sam Wiggins, 10, has a stammer and recently achieved fame online after the British Stammer Association (BSA) published a video of him reading a poem entitled 'I have a Stammer'.

The video gained substantial attention online, posting several thousand views.

Thanks to the popularity of the poem Sam has been awarded the dream of many children, a Blue Peter badge, as his mum Victoria explains.

"I contacted Blue Peter to see if they would share his poem as it's great for children," she said. "But they were so impressed they awarded him a Blue Peter medal.

"Sam's absolutely thrilled. On Wednesday Newsround are coming round as well and they are going to produce a piece on stammers.

"We've found education for children is very important, so every year Sam has done a presentation to his class on stammers.

"He's never been bullied and children have never been unkind because they understand.

"It was important to get that message out there on Blue Peter.

"The key message is that this is how I talk, this is who I am, it's acceptable. I definitely think education is key."

Victoria says Sam and herself would like to see the negative language surrounding stammers change ahead of International Stammering Awareness Day on October 22.

"Sam's had a stammer since the age of three," said Victoria. "But this year he has found it particularly difficult.

"He's started a new school and he was worried what the other children would think, so we made this poem. I put it online and it just went crazy.

"It's helped other children with stammers and parents of other children say it's helped them understand.

"The BSA got involved and shared his poem on YouTube and up to now it's been seen thousands of times."

With International Stammering Awareness Day approaching, Victoria says attitudes towards people with stammers should change, moving away from treating a stammer as a weakness or something to overcome.

"In our house we normalise it," added Victoria. "It's just matter of fact, this is who I am and how it is.

"Sam's story appeared in four papers and he was a bit upset, asking why people said he was suffering.

"It's a global thing to change people's perception of stammering.

"The negative language is out there when in actual fact it's just the way they are. That's how Sam and many of thousands of people are.

"I think it's about accepting that everyone is different and that it is how people are, and that the stigma needs to go.

"Sam's a very confident boy, you find that because of the stammer children can be shy but it's not the case with Sam."

Ahead of International Stammering Awareness Day, Sam and Victoria have been working with local photographer Julie Herbert Adams to produce posters capturing Sam's message.

"Julie's been amazing and really captured his emotion and his message," added Victoria.

"When Sam started his stammer when he was three I didn't have a clue what to do.

"With living with Sam I have learned that it's about normalising it and getting it out there, treating them like a normal person and giving them time."

Meanwhile Julie says she is delighted to be working with Sam and Victoria on producing posters to raise awareness of stammers.

"I've been working with 'Sam the Man' and supporting him in his quest to raise awareness of not only stammering but the harmful, negative language that is used around it," said Julie.

"The poem was conceived as he was hurt by people that were assuming he 'suffered' from a stammer when in fact, he actually 'rocks' his.

"His positivity and determination to shine a light on stammering with his poetry is absolutely inspirational and I was more than happy to create the poster series for him to help him on his journey.

"I'm very focused on capturing character, expression and emotion throughout my portraiture work and when Victoria told me about Sam's quest it made so much sense to combine his photoshoot and the key messages from his poem."

To learn more about stammering visit https://stamma.org/ and to view Sam's poem, visit youtu.be/hEh5iaeT0Zo