Caring brother and sister in line for a fire station treat

VLUU L310 W  / Samsung L310 W
VLUU L310 W / Samsung L310 W
Alex Wardle, from Lee-on-the-Solent, collapsed at home and tragically died in March 2016, aged 23. 

From left: Alex's father, Stephen Wardle, sister Gemma Wardle, Alex Wardle and his mother, Denise Wardle.

Gosport family to keep Alex’s legacy alive by taking part in Great South Run

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WHEN it comes to caring for their younger sister, Megan and Brook Hopkins take it all in their stride.

Their sister Macy, six, was born prematurely at 26 weeks, leaving her profoundly deaf, with cerebral palsy and behavioural problems.

Back (l-r) Firefighter James Errigo, firefighter Jonny Bennett, firefighter Rob Dellow, group manager Charlie Harris and firefighter Dave Bird-Newell.' 'Front (l-r) Megan Hopkins, 14, and Brook Hopkins, 11, who look after sister Macey Hopkins, six.' 'Megan and Brook will be going to Southsea fire station to have a go on the engines, before going to see Cinderella at the Kings Theatre. It is paid for by the fire service, who each year throw a party for young carers.

Back (l-r) Firefighter James Errigo, firefighter Jonny Bennett, firefighter Rob Dellow, group manager Charlie Harris and firefighter Dave Bird-Newell.' 'Front (l-r) Megan Hopkins, 14, and Brook Hopkins, 11, who look after sister Macey Hopkins, six.' 'Megan and Brook will be going to Southsea fire station to have a go on the engines, before going to see Cinderella at the Kings Theatre. It is paid for by the fire service, who each year throw a party for young carers.

It means older siblings Megan, 14, and Brook, 11, need to help with household duties, and sometimes put their own childhood on hold.

But to give them a much-needed break, they will be treated to a visit to a fire station before going to see a pantomime.

Mum Tracy Hopkins, 41, of Milton, said: ‘Megan and Brook help out so much it’s amazing, but with that it means they can’t always do the things they want to do.

‘They started going to a Saturday carers’ club where they can let off steam and be with children who are in a similar situation.

‘Before they went to the club they felt isolated as their friends didn’t understand why they couldn’t go out and play.’

A special young carers’ party is being held at Southsea fire station on Saturday, December 10.

Around 30 youngsters can have a look around the station, before going to see Cinderella at The Kings Theatre, Albert Road, Southsea.

Brook, who goes to Priory School, Fawcett Road, Southsea, is looking forward to the trip.

He said: ‘I’m looking forward to seeing the pantomime and visiting the fire station.

‘Last time I enjoyed getting to use a hose.

‘I help around the house by tidying up and washing up – I don’t mind doing it.’

Charlie Harris, group manager at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: ‘This is the 17th year we’re hosting this and it’s always good fun.’

To donate money to help fund the trip, email charlie.harris@hantsfire.gov.uk.