A caring little girl who goes out of her way to look after her brother who is battling cancer has been rewarded with a special gift from Santa.
Courtney Smart, 11, plays a crucial role in helping her brother Oliver, five, each day as he copes with his condition.
The youngster from Longfellow Walk in Hartlepool, is an asset to her parents, Mandy, 32, and David, 42, in helping to get Oliver ready for school.
Oliver, who was left paralysed from the waist down, as a result of his cancer, undergoes regular check ups.
Courtney, who goes to Rift House School, is also a great support to her other four siblings, Joshua, 12, Thomas, nine, Riley, seven, and Bethany, four.
She was chosen as a worthy winner after writing a letter to Santa telling him why she was deserving of a special present this Christmas.
She has received a £50 Argos voucher, courtesy of Utility Alliance, in recognition to her efforts in looking after her siblings.
Her proud mum Mandy was delighted her daughter had won a present as it was a way of showing that her efforts were appreciated.
She said: “Oliver was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when he was eight months old and Courtney has been looking after him since then.
“She helps to change him, get him ready each day and also helps me around the house.
“She is a hands on type of person and isn’t afraid to change a nappy - as Oliver is still in nappies.
“She is very motherly.”
Mandy added: “It can be quite stressful to get the kids ready in the mornings, so Courtney is a great help. “She goes to the same school as Oliver so she is also a help to him at school, by sitting with him if he is feeling down - as he can get quite frustrated by not being able to do the things that other kids can do.
“So she makes things fun for him and she also helps her nana and her auntie, who is disabled.“She has been through a lot and has adapted so well.“She loves makeup and clothes so she will spend her voucher on them.”