Lauren awarded Princess Diana gong for juggling studies and mum's care
A STUDENT who devotes much of her time to caring for her mum was in London on Monday to collect a prestigious award.
Lauren Owen, 17, was nominated for a Diana Award by teachers at Pingle School, Swadlincote, who were impressed by her devotion to mum Lindsay and her ability to keep up her studies.
She is a young carer for her mum, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, and does daily chores to support dad Nicolas and younger sister Katie.
For several years, she has successfully juggled her studies with her care responsibilities. She is now studying AS-levels and has become a prefect.
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A school spokesman said: "Despite pressures from her home life, Lauren is an excellent student. She is always positive and cheerful and is an exceptional role model for her peers."
Last year, Lauren, of Church Gresley, was nominated by the school for a Derby Telegraph Community Champions Award.
Lauren was only four when her mum was diagnosed with her debilitating condition.
She said: "I've always done all my school work – I never wanted to fall behind – but I'm really close to mum and I always want to help her, too.
"I'm carrying on with my studies and doing psychology, maths, history and product design. I want to go on to study to be a teacher.
"I am delighted and honoured to be nominated for such a prestigious award."
The Diana Awards are intended to act as a legacy to Princess Diana's belief in the power of young people.
Speaking when Lauren was nominated for the Community Champions Award, mum Lindsay said the family were proud of her.
She said: "I have good days and bad days but I never expect them to do everything around the house – they just like to help me."
Dad Nicolas said: "Lauren always remains strong. She is so helpful and keeps us all going. She is a little diamond."
Lauren's will be presented with her honour at the Diana Award's headquarters in the Oasis Centre, Westminster.
The awards were launched in 1999 and, since then, more than 27,000 have been given to young people passionate about improving society and the lives of others.
A spokeswoman said: "For the people who receive this award each year, it is truly life-changing. They don't seek reward for the work they do and, for many, it may be the only recognition they receive."