Award nominations for Kirkby kids who are mum’s heroes

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Two Kirkby siblings who have responded to their dad’s tragic death by raising charity money in his memory have been nominated for a county award.

Sarah and Mark Miles, who also care for their disabled mum, have been put forward as candidates in Bakkavor Desserts’ Nottinghamshire’s Young People of the Year (YOPEY) competition.

Sarah, 16, and Mark, 15, of Willow Avenue, lost dad Pete in September 2011 after he bravely battled cancer for three years.

Mum Sharon has rheumatoid arthritis, which creates mobility problems, and also a chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, meaning she is easily out of breath.

Both siblings help around the house and have also taken on fundraising activities for the John Eastwood Hospice, which cared for their dad, and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Sarah was nominated by Sally Marsh, pastoral support officer for year 11 at Ashfield School, who explained that Sarah wakes her mum up at 6am with a cuppa and supports her with dressing, meals and shopping.

“Even though Sarah has lots to do at home she is always cheerful and happy to help others in any way she can,” said Sally.

“She has held her own events, such as family days and stalls, and even made raffle prizes such as decorated packs of chocolates, all at her own expense.”

Sarah, who wants to go to university to become a primary school teacher, is thought to have raised more than £1,000 for the hospice and £500 for Macmillan - all while studying for her GCSEs.

She spends four hours at the hospice working at the tea bar every other Sunday and supports the Ashwood Centre, a youth club in Portland Road, Kirkby, by making cakes for sale.

Other acts of kindness to people have included clearing heavy snow from a neighbour’s path last year and making birthday presents of chocolate and sweets for a family friend’s children.

Sally added: “Sarah is a very caring and kind individual,” said Sally. “She puts other people’s needs before herself.

“She is also humble about what she does and does not brag. She is a good role model.”

Mark, meanwhile, has completed his training to become a peer mentor to help fellow pupils with issues affecting their schoolwork, home life and other matters.

Although too young to help at the hospice, he helps Sarah with her fundraising.

He was nominated by his form tutor at Ashfield, James Burgoyne, who described him as extremely polite, positive and helpful.

James added: “Mark is a great example of someone who has triumphed over adversity and approaches life with a positive attitude.”

Sharon is justifiably proud of her children and said: “They are both wonderful children - very kind and caring. Nothing seems too much trouble for them.”

The award ceremony to announce the winners will be at Kelham Hall and Country Park in October.