Sophie like a second mum’

PUBLISHED: 11:17 30 November 2006 | UPDATED: 14:55 12 May 2010

Award winner Sophie Lane

Award winner Sophie Lane

A youngster from Royston has been crowned North Herts Young Person of the Year for her strength and maturity. Sophie Lane, 14, a student at The Meridian School, was the junior winner in the contest sponsored by Johnson Matthey. Sophie who is a second mum

Runner-up Yvette Jones

A youngster from Royston has been crowned North Herts Young Person of the Year for her strength and maturity.

Sophie Lane, 14, a student at The Meridian School, was the junior winner in the contest sponsored by Johnson Matthey.

Sophie who is a 'second mum' to her four-year-old sister Georgiana, when her mother Angela is ill with Crohn's disease, received more nominations than anyone else from her fellow students.

She said: "I looked after Georgi and made lunch and stuff. I make sandwiches and soup, and eggy bread. But my favourite is pancakes. I still have time to do the stuff I want to do. "

Sophie admits the experience has made her feel "older" than she is, but now that her mum is feeling better, she has more freedom to be herself.

Her dad Darren said: "Sophie's help was invaluable. Although I was given compassionate leave from work, Sophie was like a second mum to her sister.

"Not only that, but she had to contend with a new school and SATs, as well as holding down a position on the school council and being house captain. Her strength definitely got me through."

The judges, who included Royston town mayor Councillor Lynn Berry, chief superintendent Gary Kitching of Herts Police, and winner of the first YOPEY award in 2004 Katherine James, were impressed by the love and dedication Sophie has shown to her family.

They said: ""For a 14-year-old to take care of a four-year-old is absolutely amazing. She's a credit to her family."

At the awards ceremony at Spirella House, Letchworth, on Friday, Sophie was awarded £500. She gave £125 to the National Association for Colitus and Crohn's Disease (NACC), and £125 to a breast cancer charity.

The runner-up of the North Herts St John Spencer Young People of the Year award was Yvette Jones, a St John Ambulance cadet.

Yvette, 19, saved the Royston cadet division from closing when the leader left.

With the help of two other members, Yvette helped keep the unit going for a dozen girls and boys.

She said: "What the cadets get out of St John Ambulance is fun, how to treat people and talk to the public, education, and how to deal with situations that may occur."

The judges said: "Yvette is a caring and reliable young lady and we're sure she will continue to motivate and help others."

The former Meridian School pupil who has recently qualified as a Special Constable for Herts Police was awarded £250. She gave £125 to Royston's St John cadets.

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