STEVIE Orridge goes above and beyond in her caring for others.
The 14-year-old, from Arundel View, Jump, cared for her mum Brenda Elaine O’Brien, who has COPD, from a young age until she died from the debilitating lung condition two years ago.
And she plays a vital role in helping older sister Terri Hirst, who is now her guardian, care for their brother Lucas.
Lucas suffers from cerebral palsy and Terri says Stevie is indispensable in helping care for not just Lucas, but Terri’s children too.
Terri said: “I have got twins who are one-and-a half and our brother has just had two operations, is disabled and wheelchair dependent.
“Stevie is a really great help in the house and with caring for them. We lost mum two years ago this month to long term COPD and she also had pneumonia. Once she got that, she didn’t come out of hospital again. Stevie would help with everything from bathroom visits to getting dressed, doing her hair and getting changed.
“Mum suffered with COPD for five years, so it was a long time. And Stevie helped out from being about nine or ten. She has her head screwed on and even with Lucas she continues to care.
“Lucas normally needs help with the simple things too. And he can get furious as he gets upset with his situation. But Stevie is one of the only people who can listen to him and be listened to by him.”
Stevie’s carer status meant she was eligible for support from charity Barnardos as part of their young carer’s programme, which provides young people in a caring situation with help and a break.
After spending time there, Stevie asked to stay on and for the past year has been a Barnardos volunteer, helping other young people in a similar situation.
She has also recently devoted time from her school holidays to training as a Ambassador for Mental Health at her school, Kirk Balk Academy.
Terri added: “She wants to go to college and study drama and music. She wants to go into theatre but has spoken about maybe going into helping people like Lucas have days out.
“She is not like most teenagers, she doesn’t drink or smoke. She is really responsible. But then in other ways, she is exactly the same - she still has a messy bedroom.”
Stevie was nominated by Kirk Balk learning manager Kay Jordan.
Kay said: “Stevie is a firm favourite within her peer cohort in school. She is often seen quietly offering words of encouragement and support to less confident students.
“Stevie does not require acknowledgement for what she does, nor does she ask for thanks. She does this because she cares about the people within her academy and the wider community.
“Stevie is a very inspirational young person.”
Got a Story? - 01226 734262
Stevie, 14, continues to show her caring side to family
Educating Yorkshire head settles into new Netherwood role Harry Gration signs off career outside Barnsley Town Hall Mass closures of schools across borough Motorcyclist honoured with poignant escort MP blocks free kids’ holiday meals Local football club blasted for signing convict Drug-related deaths at ‘highest-ever’ levels Police uncover cannabis farm after burglary call Penny Pie Park campaigners set for crunch meeting ‘Fitting tribute’ to much-loved teacher