Young Carers Awareness Day Takes Place On 30 January
A youngster from Harrogate has been recognised for the care and support he provides to his brother.
At just nine-years-old, Oliver Van Berckel scooped the top prize in the Young Carer category at the 2019 Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards. He was chosen because of the impact he has on the day-to-day life of his 11-year-old brother Kit.
Kit was born with cerebral palsy and requires a wheelchair to get around as well as assistance with various other tasks. From a very young age, Oliver has shown a willingness to help however he can.
Kit is one of the stars of the ‘I Am Able’ campaign from national law firm Irwin Mitchell. With Young Carers Awareness Day being held on 30 January, proud mum of the boys, Jo has spoken out about the ‘beautiful relationship’ between the pair.
She said: “They adore each other and it is wonderful to see how Oliver takes Kit into consideration in almost everything he does.
“He has always displayed an involvement with his brother and now it is second nature to him. He helps hoist Kit into his bedroom and helps him into the car. He is also an Enabler with Adversity United Football Club in Harrogate, a Disability Football Team which Kit plays for, and assists the youngsters in the sport.
“We see Oliver make such a difference and that is so special.”
The Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards took place in October, and Jo added: “It was such a memorable night, and Oliver’s grandparents and godmother were also there to see him receive his award.
“He was so chuffed!”
Following his win, Oliver said: “I like doing things for Kit as he is my brother and it is good to know that I am helping him.”
Expert Opinion“To see how Oliver makes such a significant impact on Kit’s life is heart-warming.
The brothers are the closest of friends and for Oliver to be recognised for the care and support he provides to Kit is incredible.
He thoroughly deserved to win.”
Rachelle Mahapatra - Partner
Read more about Kit's life with cerebral palsy