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Blackburn with Darwen young carers shortlisted for BBC award

TWO East Lancashire young carers have been nominated for a national prize.

Blackburn with Darwen borough’s Blaine Cunningham, 14, and Hasti Jahanghiri, 16, have been shortlisted in this year’s BBC Make a Difference Awards.

They both have received nominations under ‘The Young Carer’ category for those aged 17 or under.

Blaine has spent the last six years caring for his mum who lives with a severe autoimmune condition called Graves’ disease.

Throughout the pandemic there were times when Blaine couldn’t go to school because his mum was scared he would pick up the virus.

Blaine’s mum Sarah said: “Covid has been a real challenge for us and Blaine, bless him, has been a little worrywart, but he’s a brilliant support to me emotionally and helps me with things around the house . I am dead proud of him. He deserves this.”

Hasti has been caring for her mum, who suffers from a neurological chronic illness, since they both sought asylum in the UK 18 months ago.

She helps to cook, clean and take care of the house.

Hasti said: “Because my mum has severe depression, the isolation increases the social anxiety she has. The pandemic hasn’t been easy on us but we are getting through it.”

Blackburn with Darwen Council’s children’s services boss Cllr Julie Gunn, said: “Young carers are often unsung heroes so it is wonderful that they are being nominated.”