Find out why this brave little girl has been nominated for an Echo award

Child of Courage nominee Eden Wilde.
Child of Courage nominee Eden Wilde.

A little girl battling a undiagnosed condition which sees her struggle to communicate has been put forward for an award in honour of her courage.

Seven-year-old Eden Wilde has been nominated for a Best of Wearside Child of Courage Award for the way she has bravely managed to overcome her difficulties to make friends through charity Gateway North East.

Child of Courage nominee Eden Wilde with nana Anne McManners (left) and mum Shona McManners (right).

Child of Courage nominee Eden Wilde with nana Anne McManners (left) and mum Shona McManners (right).

Gateway North East is a registered charity originally set up by young people with a disability and their parents and carers in Sunderland.

Eden, from Kent Walk, in Peterlee, is undergoing tests which hope to diagnose the reason why she suffers from regular fits and cannot speak.

But despite all her health problems, Eden remains a happy little girl who brings a smile to many people’s faces.

Her nana Anne McManners, 66, said she was delighted that Eden’s courage had been nominated for a Best of Wearside Award.

Best of Wearside logo.

Best of Wearside logo.

She said: “I am over the moon.

“Eden absolutely loves Gateway, she goes there after school and they take them for days out.

“Since she started there last year she has become more confident.

“She doesn’t talk but lets us know what she wants and uses apps on her iPad to talk to us as well as using sign language.

“I don’t think she will ever talk, but she is coming on brilliantly with walking and can get from A to B.

“She is a little smiler and is always smiling and giggling.

“She just gets on with it and is just amazing, everyone loves her.”

Her parents, Shona McManners and John Wilde, are so proud of their daughter who is on daily medication to manage her fits.

Eden joined Gateway North East in summer 2017 and the charity said in her nomination: “When Eden first began at Gateway North East, you could see her frustration as she struggled to communicate with those around her.

“Now that couldn’t be more different, she has the confidence to point for things she needs or wants, she has the determination to try and use her voice to ask for things she needs.

“Everyone at Gateway North East is very proud of the progress Eden has made in such a short space of time.

“We can’t wait to see what Eden can continue to achieve in the near future.”

This year’s Best of Wearside Awards have been backed by partner sponsors Gentoo, Stagecoach North East and category sponsors Calsonic Kansei.

There’s plenty of time to get those entries in. You can nominate right up until Wednesday, February 28.

After that, the panel of judges will meet to draw up this year’s shortlist of contenders before the final at Stadium of Light on Thursday, March 15.

To nominate, just send your name, address and telephone number, as well as your email address, if applicable.

Remember to include the category you are putting your nominated cause into.

Also send the name of the person you wish to nominate, along with their address, telephone number and email (if known).

Send all of that to Lynn Wild by no later than February 28. Email those entries to or send them to Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland. DH4 5RA.