A teenager from Newtownabbey has been awarded the ‘Young Carer of the Year’ award at the recent MS Society awards ceremony.
Tiana Topping picked up the award at the annual event, which was held in London on Wednesday, April 27.
The 16-year-old cares for her mother, Anne Scott, who has multiple sclerosis (MS) and the onset of dementia. Tiana helps her mum by washing and dressing her as well as doing the household chores. She also helps her younger sister get ready for school and brings her home at the end of the day.
Tiana, who attends Glengormley High School, does well with her studies, but is unable to attend class as much as she would like.
She attended the ceremony with her mum and after winning the accolade said: “Being named Young Carer of the Year is absolutely overwhelming. It feels so good and I’m really happy. Thinking about my relationship with my mum and how I’ve helped her manage her MS, it means everything to me just to be invited to the awards this year. But to win is even better. The ceremony has been so fun – I honestly don’t want to leave. Though, I think it would have been nice if my younger sister was here too because she does a lot for my mum as well.”
The awards, which were hosted by Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, are the MS Society’s way of recognising the amazing achievements of people with MS and those who go above and beyond the call of duty in supporting people with the condition. The ceremony honoured a number of inspirational fundraisers, volunteers, carers, professionals, researchers and journalists for their dedication and work across many areas to improve the lives of people with MS.
JLS star Oritsé Williams, who presented Tiana with her award said: “The Young Carer category is very close to my heart because I was a young carer myself. I think it’s really important to support and encourage young carers to show them that they can turn what seems like a plight into a great positive and into something that inspires them. Being here with my mum and younger brother has been incredible. I meet a lot of people doing what I do, but it’s occasions like this that make me realise that the people who support individuals and families affected by MS are true heroes. I’m very appreciative to be in the same room as the very inspiring people here today.”
Find out about the MS Society at www.mssociety.co.uk. The charity recently launched a campaign to recognise ‘superheroes’ in the MS community like Tiana. Find out more at mssoc.uk/mssuperhero