A BROTHER and sister have been heralded for caring for their grandparents at a prestigious awards ceremony.
Louise Danniels, 13, and her 11-year-old brother Kieran, were presented with the Shrievalty Award for bravery by High Sheriff of Durham, Bernard Robinson, at a special ceremony at Durham Castle yesterday.
Funded by the High Sheriff and the Sir James Knott Trust, the Shrievalty Awards are granted annually to young people who have contributed in a positive way to their community.
And Louise and Kieran’s story touched the hearts of the judging panel, who were moved after hearing of the “outstanding care” the pair have given to their grandparents.
Louise, a pupil at Dyke House School, and Brougham Primary youngster Kieran have lived with their grandparents at their home in Breckongill Close, in the Dyke House area, since early childhood, and have helped them both through health problems.
Granddad XXX has suffered with Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and angina and has a limited life expectancy.
The youngsters were nominated for the awards by Hartlepool Carers, and they fought off competition from other deserving causes around the region to win the award.
Steve Plant, a family support worker for Hartlepool Carers, said: “Care and bravery go hand in hand in this case.
“Louise and Kieran have looked after their grandparents for very many years and the shock of learning the extent of their grandfather’s illness was a complete body blow.
“Since the news was broken to them they haven’t flinched in the love and care they have shown their grandparents.
“They have put a very brave face on a situation that is enormously upsetting and difficult for them and their courage is truly inspirational.”
Meanwhile, as reported in the Mail yesterday, a group of six teenage girls from Hartlepool won a community award at the same ceremony after producing a DVD aimed at fellow teenagers highlighting the dangers of drinking.
Sophie Dinsdale, 15, Fallon Hewitt, 17, 16-year-old Kendal Hewitt, Christy Hall, 16, Amylee Normanton, 16, and Danielle Richardson, also 16, created the 10-minute film to distribute around secondary schools in Hartlepool.
Peterlee-based youth group Cranx Crew were also in the honours, scooping an accolade for their work in the community.
The group was represented at the event by Jack Dunn, Ben Newhouse and Joseph Cliff, who identified the need for a skate/bike park for young people in Peterlee.
They met with youth workers on a weekly basis to lobby councillors and get a petition from local residents to design a park and raise funds for these particular facilities.
With the help of £35,000 secured from the Youth Capital Fund in 2009, the skate park opened in October last year.