Extraordinary stories from youngsters brought tears, smiles and celebrations to the emotional Star Superkids awards last night.
Tales of bravery, selflessness and achievement were shared at the Mercure St Paul’s Hotel in Sheffield at the event – which aims to recognise children from across South Yorkshire.
One of the most moving categories was that for children who support their family.
Inspirational ten-year-old Matthew Roberts won the award for the work he does looking after mum Emma Shaw, who has chronic health conditions, and his great-grandma Esma Race.
The Woodseats Primary School pupil told The Star: “I am feeling really excited about winning the award.
“I didn’t expect to win but I am glad that I did.
“I even have a shelf now so I can put the award up at home.
“I’d say I pretty much help everybody in the family but my mum and great-grandma most.
“I do love it.”
Proud mum Emma, of Batemoor, has fibromyalgia and ME, as well as other conditions.
Matthew was nominated by his family as he makes simple meals, helps with the supermarket shopping, sorts recycling and plays games with his great-grandma.
But most of all he was hailed for keeping his family smiling during tough times,
Emma, aged 35, said: “He just does it without even asking, he is so thoughtful all the time.
“He is always asking what he can do for people – he will make somebody a great husband one day!”
The Superkids awards – sponsored by restaurant Frankie & Benny’s – has been running for 18 years.
Kath Finlay, assistant editor of The Star, told the crowds that they were always a highlight of the year.
She added: “Very often in the media we are reporting on the not so good things that young people do.
“It is great to come here and highlight the more positive things that children and young people do.”
The night was presented by well-known radio star JoJo Kelly, who announced eight different awards over the evening. She said the awards are an inspiration to all: “Superkids just makes you feel a bit mushy and look at your own life and have a bit of perspective, because some of the bravery awards and the hardship the kids have had to face, as well as massive success, there is the other extreme of kids who spend a lot of their lives in hospital and they are still battling through and smiling.
“That’s got to fill you with hope and joy.”