BUDDING artist and young carer Emily Wood has scooped a top prize in a national Christmas card competition.

The ten-year-old, of Cononley, entered the competition after hearing about it through her development worker at the Carers’ Resource.

Her eye-catching colourful design, which shows Santa on his sleigh flying over a winter wonderland, was chosen as one of three winners for the Carers Trust Christmas cards.

A pupil at Cononley Primary School, Emily was presented with a framed copy of her card from Carers’ Trust chairman Andrew Cozens at a gala dinner in Birmingham.

Emily helps look after mum Hayley Wood, 47, who has mitochondrial myopathy – a rare and complex debilitating condition which causes the body’s cells to under-perform causing a range of symptoms including weakness and chronic fatigue.

Mrs Wood said: “We are delighted for Emily; it’s a brilliant achievement for her. We’re all really proud of her.

“And winning this competition has highlighted her role as a carer, and what she does, especially at school. She is no longer a ‘hidden’ carer.

“Being a young carer is a very different way of life to that of other children of Emily’s age. She knows I’m very poorly, and she knows I won’t get better and that I’m going to die. This can really knock her confidence and affect the way she is.

“She has had to learn to come to terms with all of that and she’s still very young, and a lot of that is down to the great support she gets from Carers’ Resource and other young carers in the same situation.”

As part of the competition entrants had to sum up what being a young carer is for them.

Emily wrote: “I like caring for my mum and brother.

“It’s fun and interesting. You feel love, sadness, happiness and scared sometimes.

“You learn things that they don’t teach you at school.”

Anne Smyth, director of the Carers’ Resource, said: “This is a wonderful achievement for Emily and it was lovely to see her receive her framed artwork at the ceremony - she really is a talented young girl.

“The support we give to young carers in Craven is funded entirely through donations so anything that helps to raise awareness about their role is always great.

“We give them support they need to enable them to offload about their caring responsibilities; to share their experiences with other young carers; and to give them the opportunity to take part in social and leisure activities and to be children and young people.”

The Christmas cards are on sale on the Carers Trust website - carers.org

For more information about the Carers’ Resource visit carersresource.org or telephone 01756 700888.