COURAGEOUS schoolboy Cornel Hrisca-Munn has been given a Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Award for Young People for his ''success against the odds''.

Cornel, who was born with no lower arms and has had a leg amputated, has raised thousands of pounds for the Limbless Society and deprived children around the world.

He is now trying to raise even more cash to build a rehabilitation centre in his native Romania.

"We've got a long way to go," said Cornel. "The target is £250,000 and we've got £13,000 so far. Fund-raising for this sort of thing is important because I want people in Romania to have the sort of opportunities I've had."

Cornel, of Whittington, near Worcester, who plays the drums with sticks strapped to his arms, raised much of the £13,000 by taking part, with with fellow pupils at Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College, in a 12-hour drumming marathon.

Cornel's mother Juliana Hrisca suffered a nervous breakdown when he was born disabled, meaning he was taken away to an orphanage in the city of Suceava.

Doreen Munn - who was working in the country with the charity Romania Concern at the time - and her husband Ken adopted him in 1994 when he was 16 months old.

"The award is in recognition of his outstanding perseverance against disability, his tireless work to raise funds for others facing severe handicap and hardship and his success against the odds in school and life," said a spokesman for the college, in Timberdine Avenue, Worcester.

The 13-year-old was given a Pride of Britain Child of Courage award last year after he raised £4,050 for children in Iraq by swimming 1,000 metres in 45 minutes.