We asked to find a special young person to Light up Loughborough by switching on the town’s Christmas lights and we managed to find two – brother and sister Alex and Megan Hutton.
Charnwood Borough Council and the Loughborough Echo joined forces to run the competition and we were delighted to receive more than 50 entries.
And we have to say they were all good candidates which made it incredibly difficult to pick a winner.
Entries included youngsters facing difficult personal circumstances, some who were clearly very kind and generous, one who wanted to do The Floss on stage and another who really liked pressing buttons!
They were all really worthy of being winners, but it was Alex, eight, and Megan, 10, who were chosen by the judging panel including Cllr Jenny Bokor, the Council’s lead member for Loughborough (and Christmas!) and Echo editor Andy Rush.
What makes it even more special is Alex’s birthday is on the same day as the Christmas lights switch-on, Sunday November 25, when he will turn nine.
The judging panel were impressed by Alex and Megan’s commitment to supporting their family.
Their grandad Keith Pervin has had a few health issues this year due to long-term disability caused by a road traffic accident in 1989 which resulted in him becoming wheelchair bound. He has recently moved in with the family on Mountfields Drive, Loughborough and Alex and Megan always help ensure he is looked after.
When Keith’s health deteriorates, the kids step up their efforts to support him and mum Kelly, helping with day-to-day support for Keith and packing essentials for hospital visits. They are also supportive and caring to their nan Janet Hutton, who suffers with Alzheimer's, demonstrating patience and compassion beyond their years.
Kelly, who nominated the pair, runs Babblebrooke Day Nursery in town and dad Chris is a partner at Charnwood Accountants. The kids are often helping them at weekends and have recently assisted in creating a new garden at Kelly’s nursery for the children to enjoy, giving up a large part of their summer holidays to do so.
Kelly said: “Our lives are very busy and at times a bit chaotic, but Alex and Megan take everything thrown at them amazingly well. They never complain and are always considerate to others, I am incredibly proud of them.”
Alex and Megan said they were both excited to switch on the lights.
Cllr Bokor said: “It was a very difficult decision and I have to admit having a tear in my eye reading some of the wonderful things about the children who were nominated.
“However we had to pick a winner and we have chosen Alex and Megan.
“We were touched by how supportive they are to their family, in particular their grandad Keith and we hope this will be a very special treat for them.
“Christmas is a time for giving and I felt we could use this opportunity to reward Alex and Megan for being so good, kind and caring.”
Andy Rush said: “It was a real pleasure to go through all the entries and the amount sent in just shows how many lovely, kind and considerate youngsters there are and Alex and Megan’s story underlines that. They are worthy winners.”