A 12-year-old Chesterfield girl has won a prestigious award for caring for members of her family who suffer from a number of health conditions.
Inspirational Emily Kay, has cared for her mum Kerry, 39, and her two brothers Peter, 15, and Christopher, eight – all of whom have cerebral palsy. Emily also supports her dad Eddy, 39, who was left with mobility issues following a serious car accident.
To recognise her selfless work, Emily was presented with this year’s St James’s Place Foundation’s Midlands Children of Courage Award at a special ceremony at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull, West Midlands, on Friday, October 7 in front of 400 people.
The prize celebrates ‘outstanding achievements and bravery of children, young people and their families’.
“It can be really tiring looking after my family but I love them very much and would do anything for them,” said Emily.
With the support of two adult carers and her nan, Emily tirelessly helps her family with all the chores around the house; whether getting them all ready in the mornings, preparing and serving meals, fetching medicines or tidying and cleaning up.
Emily added: “The awards evening was absolutely amazing though I was pretty nervous. I hope more people understand what it’s like to be a carer and that other young carers like me are getting the proper support and help they need.”
Emily is one of an estimated 700,000 youngsters across the UK known for acting as a carer for a relative or guardian – but there are thought to be more who have not been identified as needing help.
Since 2014, Emily has been supported by Action for Children’s Derbyshire Young Carers service based in Chesterfield which supports young carers both emotionally and practically to keep their home and school lives on track.
The service offers the young people the chance to take part in social activities, short breaks, school groups and educational sessions as well as receive emotional support, information and guidance.
Debbie Moore from Action for Children said: “Emily has had to juggle so many things in life and at times this has been really difficult for her so her award is truly deserved.”