A schoolgirl who helps care for one of her parents and two younger siblings has been awarded this year’s Percival Whitley Award.
Along with two older siblings, Bethany Smethurst-Bellamy, 11, who attends Christ Church C of E Primary School in Pellon, has been responsible for the care of one parent and two younger siblings for more than three years.
Every day, she makes sure that her younger siblings are fed and ready to go to school with her and she is responsible for their care at the end of the day too.
Bethany also helps with the daily household chores and, in particular, the care of her sick parent.
Bethany has also taken on responsibilities at school such as bell monitor, ipad monitor and collective worship committee representative, and in Year 5 was a reading buddy and play leader for younger children.
Bethany’s headteacher, Emma Midgley, says Bethany is like a ‘small mummy’ to her siblings and is always caring, kind and gentle with those around her.
Chairman of the Trust, Leyland Smith, said: “The aim of the award is to enable the youngster chosen to be recognised as a beacon of achievement within his/her own school community before moving onto secondary school. Clearly, the progress Bethany has made at school, in spite of the personal responsibilities and challenges she copes with on a daily basis, is a valuable role model for all children. She is a very special young lady who highly deserves our recognition.”
The four runners-up are Adelaide Holdsworth, 10, who attends Bailiffe Bridge Junior School, Billy Joe Mackerill, 11, who attends St Andrews CE (VA) Junior School, Waterloo Road, Brighouse, Katherine Ogden, 12, who attends Barkisland Primary School, and Harriet Pope, 11, who attends Riverside Junior School in Hebden Bridge.