Wisbech student’s devotion to his younger brother earns him nomination for prestigious award

Student Matt McKerrow-Dean and his younger sibling Ciaran.

Student Matt McKerrow-Dean and his younger sibling Ciaran. - Credit: Archant

A WISBECH Grammar School student has been recognised for his devotion to his brother.

Matt McKerrow-Dean

Matt McKerrow-Dean - Credit: Archant

Matt McKerrow-Dean’s younger sibling Ciaran, 15, has autism and learning difficulties but with his help he leads a full and active social life.

Yopeys Logo

Yopeys Logo - Credit: Archant

Matt has been nominated for the Cambs Young People of the Year Award (YOPEY), which acknowledges selfless young Cambridgeshire people.

The 17 year-old is often out with Ciaran at the youth club, bowling, swimming, fencing and watching their favourite band.

His devotion and enthusiasm gives his mother and father a break from looking after his younger sibling.

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Matt’s mother Karan McKerrow-Dean teaches Ciaran at home in Gayton Road, Kings Lynn, and is his full-time carer.

He has difficulty communicating and has the speech abilities of a five-year-old.

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He is apprehensive of unfamiliar places and people which could leave him isolated but she says Matt makes sure he gets out and about.

Karan said: “He is a shining example to other young people in his attitude towards hidden disability.

“His commitment and enthusiasm cannot be faulted and his love for his younger brother always shines through.

“Many young people Matt’s age would sooner be out with their mates but he always puts Ciaran’s needs before his own.”

Matt says he doesn’t see anything special in his helping Ciaran spread his wings.

“We just go to the same places,” he said.

Matt’s involvement with the various groups Ciaran attends has opened his eyes to disability and those who look after them. He has made friends with the young carers at Spaeda.

YOPEY, now in its ninth year, is open to young people, aged 10-25, who live, work or study in Cambridgeshire.

Sponsors include Ferrier Pearce, a Cambridgeshire communications company, Wisbech crop production specialists Hutchinsons, Fenland salad and vegetable grower G’s, Chatteris-based companies ALS and The Micron Group, and industrial print specialists Linx.

Nominations close on July 31 and an awards ceremony will be held in Cambridgeshire in October.

For more information go to www.yopey.org

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