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WellChild Awards 2018: Nominations open to honour inspirational children and young people with serious illnesses

Nominations are opening up for the 2018 WellChild Awards. Credit: WellChild Awards

Do you know a brave child or young person living with a serious illness or exceptional health needs? Or a carer that goes the extra distance to make a difference?

The public is being asked to put forward nominations for the 2018 Wellchild Awards, the annual event to recognise inspirational qualities and achievements.

WellChild organisers say the awards can make a huge impact on the morale of winners, their families and the people that support them.

Last year's ceremony was a star-studded affair, with Royal Patron Prince Harry leading a long list of celebrities in attendance at the London event.

How to nominate:

Entries for this year's awards will be judged by a panel including former winners, health professionals and child health researchers, with the event set to go ahead in Autumn.

If you would like to nominate someone for a WellChild Award visit www.wellchild.org.uk/awards or by contacting the charity on 01242 530007 to request a nomination form.

The closing date for nomination entries is April 9th.

Stormzy was one of the celebrities at last year's awards. Credit: ITV News

Categories for nominations:

  • Inspirational Child or Young Person – A child or young person between the ages of four and eighteen who has kept smiling against all odds in coping with or overcoming serious illness, and who deserves to be celebrated for their extraordinary courage.
  • ·Most Caring Child or Young Person – A special child between the ages of four and eighteen who devotes much of their time and energy freely and lovingly to care for a friend or sibling who is sick..
  • Nurse – A nurse working with children and young people who goes the extra mile for the children and young people in their care.
  • Doctor – A doctor working with children and young people who goes the extra mile for the children and young people in their care.
  • Outstanding Professional Award - A professional who has worked above and beyond for children and young people in their care.
  • Health Team – A team of doctors, nurses, or other healthcare professionals, who work together to make a huge difference to the lives of seriously ill children.

MARNI'S STORY

One of last year's winners was Leeds youngster Marni Ahmed, who has as rare life-threatening skin condition called Harlequin Ichthyosis.

His condition affects his whole body, requiring intensive treatment six times a day for the rest of his life.

Marni told ITV News the recognition made him feel "happy, proud", and "pretty shocked that I won out of 500 kids".

Marni's mum Gulzeab is also his carer. Credit: ITV News

His mother Gulzeab said Marni was very overwhelmed at first and the award has helped him come out of his shell.

"He's not shy to talk about his condition, he's more open and that's a good thing that he's come out of himself and is more confident" she said.

Prince Harry met Marni at last year's awards. Credit: ITV News

Meeting Prince Harry at last year's awards, Marni took the opportunity to speak to the royal about hospitals and in particular, the food served in them.

"He moved on to me and said 'Do you like hospital food?' (and) I was like 'What?!' like 'No, it's like the worst thing ever', he said.

He also found out that the prince had never had a doner kebab.

"He went 'I can't say I have, but my friends have' and I was like 'interesting'."

The award has also helped Marni connect better with his schoolmates.

"I don't get comments, everyone says 'Hi Marni'," he said.