Young carer of the Year: Caring sibling wins Princely prize
A thoughtful nine-year-old from Ravensthorpe, whose care for his siblings highlights the true meaning of ‘brotherly love’, has been awarded with a prestigious accolade from Prince Harry.
Armaan Aslam was presented with the Young Carer of the Year honour at the renowned WellChild Awards in London earlier this month.
The energetic youngster was chosen from hundreds of nominations from across the UK for his tireless efforts in caring for older brothers - Hassan and Arslan - who have both suffered from Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy.
Sadly, Arslan passed away last year at the age of 16 while Hassan is now 24 and in the later stages of the condition.
Despite the level of care needed, Armaan has learnt how to use all the medical machinery used to support Hassan, often sitting with him for hours on end to entertain him and helping with his daily needs, such as feeding and washing. He also cheers him up when he’s feeling unwell.
Possessing maturity beyond his years, Armaan helps his mother look after the house and his younger sister, Nadia, and visits Arslan’s grave every week which he tends with as much care as he gave his brother when he was alive.
In all this, Armaan even finds time to fundraise for local charities which support his brother.
Travelling down to the WellChild Awards at London’s prestigious Dorchester hotel with his family on Monday 3rd October, Armaan says he did not know what to expect on the evening, but was delighted to receive his award.
He said: “I want to thank Prince Harry and WellChild for naming me as the best young carer in the UK.
“I was a bit surprised when I first learned of my award and am very proud to have won. My friends were shocked when they saw me on the telly.”
Armaan was nominated for the award by one of his brother’s carers, Rebecca Crossland.
His father, Mohammed, who also attended the awards ceremony at the start of the month, says he was taken aback the magnitude of the whole event.
He said: “Thank you to WellChild for the tremendous work they’re doing and thank you to Prince Harry for presenting Armaan with this award - what a character he is.
“I knew [Armaan] deserved the award because I know about his character. He is generally a good lad.
“I didn’t, however, understand the magnitude of the event before we got there, how big it was, how it was organised. A lot of energy and work went into it, so I just want to say thank you to everybody who made this happen.”
He added: “A massive thank you also has to go to Rebecca Crossland for nominating him for the award and to Anne Kennedy for all the support they continue to provide us with.”
The WellChild Awards celebrate the courage of children coping with serious illnesses or complex conditions and honour the dedication of professionals who go the extra mile to help sick children and their families.
Prince Harry is Patron of WellChild - the national charity for seriously ill children - and congratulated all the award winners on the night.
He said: “This is now my ninth WellChild awards and each year at this remarkable event, I am profoundly moved by the people I have met and the stories they have shared with me.
“It is one of those moments in life when you are left in awe at the strength of human character, particularly amongst those so young. Watching these children and young people face challenges with such determination, positivity and good humour, never fails to take my breath away.”