Top award for young carer Gemma

A TEENAGER was a winner in a prestigious awards event in recognition of her work as a full-time carer.

Gemma Doherty, 16, from the Rift House area of Hartlepool, was nominated for the Hartlepool Youth Parliament award by Hartlepool Carers for keeping up with her schoolwork while also caring for her relatives, who are all registered blind.

The English Martyrs School and Sixth Form student, who hopes to follow a career in food technology, was presented with the “The Future’s Bright, the Future’s Young People” award for Academic Achievement at a special ceremony at the Borough Hall last night.

Gemma went to live with her grandparents and uncle as a child when her father died and has cared for them ever since.

Sadly, her grandfather died just three weeks ago, before Gemma knew she had been chosen to receive the award.

Steve Plant, Family Support Worker for Hartlepool Carers, said: “I had no hesitation in nominating Gemma for this award.

“She looks after her grandmother and uncle with the utmost care and dedication, yet has somehow managed to keep on top of her schoolwork.

“So much so that she is on track to get A and A* grades in all the subjects she’s studying.

“This is a remarkable achievement considering young carers are statistically under achievers due to their caring responsibilities and means she has every chance of fulfilling her ambition to make a career in food technology.”