Young carer Ellie receives Diana Award

Ellie (centre) is 15 and she has helped care for her brother who has Asperger’s Syndrome since she was 4.

We are delighted that young carer, Ellie Holley, from Bradley Stoke has been awarded the prestigious Diana Award. Ellie was presented the award at an official ceremony in Bath. Each year the Diana Award’s Roll of Honour recognises the efforts of young people in campaigning, honouring the legacy of Diana Princess of Wales.

Through her dedicated and enthusiastic work with Young Carers Voice (YCV), Ellie has influenced strategic policy and development of local services and raised awareness of young carers’ needs amongst her peers, her community, in education and with professionals.

Ellie said: “I’m proud to be acknowledged in this way and really appreciate the support I have received. It’s been very eye-opening and it feels good to have my voice heard.”

With training and support, YCV members gain the skills to engage in consultation, work on service development and have an opportunity to have their say.

Kama McKenzie, manager of our Young Carers Service, said:

“Ellie is exceptional; in the face of adversity she excels and achieves. She has been an active member of the group. She got involved because she wanted to help improve life for other young carers in her local community. She is passionate due to her own personal experience of what life is like being a young carer.”

Ellie’s commitment begins at home. She has cared for her brother who has Asperger’s Syndrome since she was four years old. The care Ellie provides includes helping with his nightly bedtime routine, emotional care and supporting her mum with housework. The emotional support is particularly intense at present as she is helping him with his transition to secondary school. What is so special about Ellie is that she doesn’t complain; she embraces the needs of her family and goes that extra step.

Winners of the Diana Award receive a certificate signed by the Prime Minister, as well as a lapel pin or trophy. They also have the opportunity to attend events hosted by Prince William and Prince Harry.

Listen to Ellie talk about her award on BBC Radio Bristol’s Emma Britton show.