Nominate Sunderland’s little heroes in Star Awards

Little star Leonnie, from Sunderland.
Little star Leonnie, from Sunderland.
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DO you know a little star in Wearside?

Nominations are open for an annual awards ceremony organised by The Children’s Foundation.

The annual Star Awards celebrate the achievements of disabled children, their friends and families.

Last year, brave Sunderland schoolgirl Leonnie, who is battling a range of health issues, and her carer Amy Howard picked up an award.

The bubbly 14-year-old, from Grangetown, goes to Thornholme School and inspired her family and care workers by battling through her condition with a smile.

Amy, 26, from High Barnes, said “Leonnie is a very happy, bubbly young lady with lots of personality.

“She has Down’s Syndrome and autism, as well as a range of other health issues, such as dysphagia, which means she has all her food blended and drinks thickened. She has also had a number of surgeries, including on her heart.

“She has recently, unfortunately, lost the sight in one eye and since being young has suffered with reflux.

“Due to her learning difficulties and being non-verbal, it is very difficult for her to understand and cope with surgery, but she has showed amazing bravery and has amazed doctors with her recovery.

“Leonnie’s family, friends and keyworkers are all very proud of her.”

This year’s ceremony is at The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle on July 10. To nominate a child or young person (aged three to 18), friend or sibling, or parent or carer contact Ashleigh Harrison on 282 0896, or email