A NINE-year-old boy from Redditch has been recognised for giving outstanding support to his disabled brother throughout the pandemic.
Zachary Filler, older brother of Luca, has been nominated the ‘Young Sibling of the Year’ at the 17th annual Sense Awards.
The awards recognise the achievements of people with complex disabilities and the family, staff and volunteers who support them.
Luca, aged six, has complex needs including being deafblind.
Zach has supported Luca with his learning and development, spending time singing with him and keeping him stimulated with his sensory toys.
He will often watch over his younger brother while his parents are busy and offers support with feeding Luca, administered through a tube in his stomach.
Since March, Zach has spent most of his time at home due to Luca’s increased vulnerability to the virus and the family being required to shield.
He misses his friends, grandparents and playing football with his team but he understands the importance of protecting his younger brother.
Mum Faye said: “Siblings get forgotten about a little bit when you have a complex child who has other needs.
“It is really touching as Zach is not often recognised for how caring he is.
“He asked if he got nominated because of Luca but I keep telling him it was because of him – it was really emotional for me.”
Zach is a member of Sense’s Siblings and Young Carers group, where he can socialise and join in online music, art and sports sessions with other children who understand what it is like to have a sibling with complex disabilities.
This has helped Zach to make new friends and build his confidence.
Richard Kramer, chief executive of national disability charity Sense, added: “We are delighted to shortlist Zach as our ‘Young Sibling of the Year’.
“He is a selfless and positive young man who cares so much about his brother, Luca, and takes on additional responsibilities to support him.”
Winners will be announced on December 1.
For more information visit sense.org.uk/sense-awards