A BROTHER and sister have been named Young Carers of the Year for their tireless work in looking after two younger siblings with special needs.
And while Amanda (19) and Sam Norris (14) from Finglas in Dublin often miss out on time with their friends to help their single mum look after Demi (15) and Adam (6), they would not change a thing.
Their mother, Antoinette, choked back tears as she paid tribute to her big-hearted children whom she had secretly nominated for the award.
"I say 'thank you' all the time but this is a lovely way to let them know how much I appreciate their help," she said.
Demi has the genetic condition Cohen's Syndrome and is intellectually disabled while Adam is autistic. They also have another sister, Roisin (7).
Amanda and Sam were honoured at the Tunstall Emergency Response Carers of the Year Awards 2012 at the Westbury Hotel in Dublin yesterday.
Amanda, who hopes to have a career working with the disabled, said that, despite the hard work and sacrifices involved, she wouldn't change her life.
"Demi is my little baby, I love her to bits.
"With Demi she can't talk and nobody else knows what she's saying. . . but we all know what Demi wants," she explained.
Sam told how he takes special care of Adam and gets his younger brother dressed and ready for school and gives him his breakfast every morning.
"You're kind of used to it when you grow up with it," said the teenager modestly.