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Touching tale wins Star girl recognition

PUBLISHED: 12:56 02 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:48 03 March 2010

EVENING Star journalist Debbie Watson gained royal recognition for her work in an awards ceremony at St James Palace.

Shortlisted for the 2002 Prince's Trust Local Reporting Awards, 25-year-old Debbie joined two other finalists yesterday for the final winners' announcement by HRH The Prince of Wales.

EVENING Star journalist Debbie Watson gained royal recognition for her work in an awards ceremony at St James Palace.

Shortlisted for the 2002 Prince's Trust Local Reporting Awards, 25-year-old Debbie joined two other finalists yesterday for the final winners' announcement by HRH The Prince of Wales.

The ceremony came in recognition of articles written by regional journalists about the brave or responsible work of young people in their community. The annual event is run in association with the Newspaper Society.

Debbie's article – which made the top three in the competition – was first printed in The Star last summer and featured 12-year-old Felixstowe schoolboy, Jacob Swift.

Jacob had spent the previous three years acting as carer to his mother Helen, herself a severe sufferer of Crohn's Disease.

Both Helen and Jacob were able to attend yesterday's event and spent several minutes chatting with the Prince, and with Prince's Trust ambassador, Gary Lineker.

"This was a wonderful experience for the two of us," said 30-year-old Helen afterwards.

"It's been a difficult few years for us as a family, but Jacob has been amazing throughout that time, and I'm really pleased he was able to attend something so special – not to mention getting autographs from both Gary Lineker and Prince Charles."

Jacob added: "I never really think I'm doing anything exceptional by looking after Mum, but it was nice to tell our story and make people realise that not all young people are trouble-makers.

"Prince Charles was really chatty with Mum and I. He even asked Mum whether she'd used complementary medicine."

Debbie said: "It was good to get the recognition for the Swift story because it is a really nice story of an exceptional family relationship and what Jacob does for his mum is above and beyond the call of duty for a son.

"It was nice to see Prince Charles so keen to talk to Helen. He seemed to have a genuine interest in her and her condition."

The award for the 2002 Princes Trust Local Reporting Awards went to Andrew Hebden from the Bradford Telegraph and Argus.

Weblink:

www.princes-trust.org

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