Pride of Britain Awards: Belfast Giants hero makes dreams come true for sick children

Laura Small has only worked with the Belfast Giants in an official capacity for the past year, but for the past two decades, she's been working tirelessly off the ice to make dreams come true.

Laura is the Relationship and Business Development Officer for the team, but to local fans she's a friend, a constant support, and a beacon of hope in times when they need it most.

She works closely with sick and terminally ill children, affectionately know as the Giants' 'special kids', welcoming them and their families to training sessions and match days to provide some much needed respite.

Not only does Laura ensure that the kids get to meet their heroes and feel truly part of the team, she becomes a friend for life.

Máirtín Mac Gabhann, father of five-year-old Dáithí, who has been on the waiting list for a heart transplant for four years, summed up what Laura means for his family.

"I brought our Dáithí to a game and then I got a phone call on the Monday morning from Laura asking why I hadn't let her know we were coming.

"From that phone call I have to say that everything has changed in our lives.

"Not only had Dáithí been waiting on a heart transplant for four years but his nanny sadly passed away, my mother.

"In a very dark time she was the light that came into our lives."

Christine McCaughey's son Blake has a rare genetic disorder but she believes Laura has given Blake a reason to live.

"Laura has been the absolute backbone to everything that we've been through." she said.

"We found out that Blake needed open heart surgery, Laura and the team here organised that Blake got onto the ice and scored a goal.

"Then we went over (to Great Ormond Street Hospital) and Laura came over the week after and presented Blake with his own jersey.

"Hockey and the Giants and Laura is just what keeps him going."

Throughout the week UTV is bringing you our four finalists in the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards. All of them are amazing fundraisers who make a huge difference in the community.

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