Hitchin teen who looks after disabled brother nominated for YOPEY awards

Yopey 2014 nominee Sophie Day lives in Hitchin

Yopey 2014 nominee Sophie Day lives in Hitchin - Credit: Archant

A Hitchin teenager is in the running for an anniversary accolade as a scheme which recognises inspiring young people enters its 10th year.

Sophie Day gives time to other youngsters, looks after her disabled brother, raises hundreds of pounds in memory of her grandmother and fills hundreds of gift shoeboxes for poor children.

The 13-year-old has been nominated for the 10th anniversary Young People of the Year awards, backed by Mitsubishi Electric and also sponsored by North Hertfordshire Homes.

The awards, which began in Herts and have since spread to 12 other English counties and London, offer £2,000 in prize money for young winners to share with the community, as well as public recognition for their often unsung efforts.

Sophie, of Mattocke Road, is always ready to help older brother Josh, 15, who suffers from epilepsy, ADHD and learning difficulties, but mum Kim says Sophie takes everything in her stride.

“Even when she was very young she was not fazed if Josh had a seizure and now she looks out for him and takes him everywhere she can,” she said.

Sophie, a pupil at the Priory School, is also a committed charity fundraiser, taking part in the Macmillan Race for Life and other events, and supporting the work of the Garden House Hospice in Letchworth.

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She is already collecting shoeboxes for the annual Smile International Christmas donation programme for needy children around the world – last year her total was 120.

Yopey founder Tony Gearing said: “There are many young people in Hertfordshire doing wonderful things for others but they live in the shadow of a well-publicised anti-social minority.

“We need to give young people the respect they deserve and set up the best as positive role models for others.”

Schools, youth organisations, churches and charities across Herts are urged to nominate their young stars, and young people can even nominate themselves.

Find out full details at yopey.org.

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