A youngster who has sensory problems, learning difficulties and is profoundly deaf but has attained life-changing achievements, was delighted to pick up the Child of Achievement award.
Ten-year-old Kaitlyn Soden, from Ellington, has auditory neuropathy and Reynaud’s Syndrome which has led to numerous problems, including deafness and co-ordination issues.
But over the past two years she has changed from a reserved and shy little girl who couldn’t swim and found it difficult to communicate, into a confident, bubbly and friendly girl who can now swim all four competitive strokes.
Last year, she received a hearing dog called Rowan who changed her life immensely. She took part in a sponsored swim with Ashington Swimming Club and raised more than £400 for Hearing Dogs, as well as helping to organise other fund-raising events to support more hearing dogs for children.
Kaitlyn said: “I’m really happy. I want to say thank-you to Kath, my swimming teacher, who has been absolutely amazing.”
Also nominated: Kiera Sheeba, who attends Cramlington Voluntary Youth Group and gives her time and support to engage young people from different backgrounds, and Adam Carnaffin, who is autistic yet proved himself a hero when he made a potentially life-saving 999 call when his mum suffered an epileptic fit.