A RIBBLE VALLEY youngster is in line for a national award for making his best friend happy.

Nine-year-old, Jaymes Shoreman, has been nominated as one of the National Autistic Society’s (NAS) Happiness Heroes.

He was nominated for the accolade by Kirstie Esson, the mother of Jack, nine, who has high functioning autism and dyspraxia.

Jaymes and Jack, who both attend St Leonard’s Primary School, Langho, have been best friends for the past three years.

Before starting at St Leonard’s Primary School in 2007, Jack had a bad experience at another local school where he felt isolated.

But from the first day at his new school Jaymes took Jack under his wing.

Jaymes said: “Sometimes Jack doesn’t like changes at school like when we have to have PE on a different day than we usually do, so I try and explain to Jack why.

“I enjoy having Jack as my friend and don’t see him as being any different to me, after all everyone is different and no one is the same as each other.

“I like Jack just the way that he is. It is fantastic that I have been nominated for a Happiness Hero award but I don’t think that I have done anything special.

“I hope other children reading this will see that having a friend like Jack can be great fun too!”

Happiness Heroes is part of the NAS’s You Need to Know campaign, which aims to commend people who make a positive difference to others lives.

Kirstie said: “When Jack gets overwrought, Jaymes remains calm and isn’t fazed by it at all. He is very tolerant of Jack’s need for physical contact and allows constant hugs and hand holding, which gives Jack security and confidence, particularly in new situations.

“Outside Jack’s family, Jaymes is one of the only people Jack trusts completely to look after him and keep him safe.

“For all of these reasons I believe Jaymes is truly deserving of a Happiness Heroes nomination. He has made such a difference to Jack’s life and consequently to all of our family’s. He really is an absolute star”.

Mark Lever, chief executive of the NAS, said: “We know that many children with autism aren’t able to get the support they need to fulfil their full potential.

"That’s why we’re delighted to be able to celebrate people like Jack”.