A YOUNG volunteer has won a Pride of Accrington Lions youth award for her caring ways.

Bethany Hodgkinson, 17, was nominated in the Caring for Others category after impressing her peers at the Young Peo-ple’s Service.

The teen began helping at the service, formerly and still popularly known as SNAP when she was 14, and said it was a personal experience that led to her involvement with the special needs activity group.

She said: “My 13-year-old sister, Megan, has Down’s syndrome. I did a young leaders’ course and the man who ran it had helped at SNAP, so I got involved.”

The A-level student, who hopes to become a chemical engineer, supports young people at the service who have learning difficulties, helping them to take part in sports, arts and crafts.

She was nominated by Gillian Anson, Lancashire County Council young people’s worker.

She said: “This is a great achievement for Bethany. She has shown real commitment to the group. She attends on a regular basis and makes a huge difference to the lives of the young people she supports.

"I'd like to congratulate Bethany on her award and for the positive contribution she makes to our community."

Speaking after receiving the award, Bethany, who also lives with mum and dad Julie and Roy, and nine-year-old brother Tom, said: “I am very proud to have won this award.

“I love the group and I'm glad I can help young people with special needs.

“I knew I was nominated, but I did not expect to win. I’m really happy.”

Bethany received the award from Caz Morton, president of Accrington Lions, at a presentation at the Platt Social Club on Blackburn Road. Other award winners were Ethan Naisbitt, 10, who was given the bravery award, and 13-year-old Abigail Singleton, who won in the Young Carers category.