A Gilford girl who cares for her severely disabled parents and her siblings has won a top youth award.
Latasha Moore triumphed in the Spirit of Youth category of the awards which recognise and celebrate unsung community heroes - ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things to make a real difference to life in Northern Ireland.
Latasha has dedicated her teenage years to caring for her parents who both suffer from severe disabilities.
Her mother Leanne suffers from Functional Gate Disorder which affects her balance and limits her mobility while her father Robin is profoundly deaf.
A typical day for Latasha involves ensuring her three siblings up and ready for school before she gets ready herself. Described by her mother as her “rock,” she helps to run the family home and takes on the majority of household chores.
Her work extends beyond the home as Latasha will always accompany her father when he is out and about, as his sign language interpreter.
As a teenager, Latasha has sacrificed many aspects of her own life to help care for her family but despite this the burdens she happily bears, she always maintains a humble demeanour and a positive outlook.
Almost 300 people, including the 10 winners and their families, attended the Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland event at the Culloden Hotel, hosted by UTV’s Mark Mallet and Pamela Ballantine.
Davitt Walsh from Derry was named the Overall Spirit of Northern Ireland after his heroic efforts back in March when he rescued baby Ríoghnach-Ann McGrotty from drowning in Buncrana in Co. Donegal.
Founder of the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, Colin Bell was given the Overcoming Adversity Award following the incredible support his Trust has provided to families, helping to bring home the bodies of loved-ones who have died overseas.
A host of Northern Ireland’s most recognisable faces were there to congratulate each of the worthy winners including sporting heroes Carl Frampton MBE and Sir AP McCoy; celebrity weather man Barra Best; former Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle and none other than First and deputy First Ministers Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness who took a break from the busy executive table to meet Northern Ireland’s true heroes.
Brian O’Kane, director of Specsavers Northern Ireland, who sponsor the awards, said, “The Spirit of NI awards celebrate all that is great about Northern Ireland and its people and we at Specsavers are proud to be associated with such a special event that continues to warm our hearts year on year.”