THE VOICE and achievements of a very special Pembrokeshire girl were heard at the recent Spotlight awards ceremony, held by Pembrokeshire County Council.

Belle Curran, aged ten, was awarded a special Spotlight Award for her bravery living with an interstitial lung disease and the legacy she has left behind - both in her fundraising efforts and how she demonstrated a strong voice as a young person managing her illness. Belle lost her battle in April this year.

Her mum Stella, joined by husband John, picked up the award on her daughter's behalf from the council's children's services manager, Darren Mutter, at a special ceremony held at Folly Farm.

It followed an emotional presentation about Belle and her achievements, given by Dawn Thomas paediatric palliative care play specialist for Hywel Dda University Health Board.

"Belle was a remarkable young lady," said Dawn. "She showed bravery, resilience and courage, always with a smile on her face.

"We have all learnt so much from her. I was privileged to tell her story."

Belle helped raise thousands of pounds for her five chosen charities, through the Belle's Story charity.

With her first-hand experience, she planned how money could best be spent in order to make a positive difference to other children.

She was also an advocate for children living with illnesses or disabilities and received several awards including the Guiding Star Award and Outstanding Child of Courage 2018, with Radio Pembrokeshire. She was also honoured as one of Wales' bravest youngsters by S4C.

"Belle was so pleased with her achievements, and we are so very proud," said mum Stella.

"She wanted to be visible for children with conditions or disabilities to show what could be achieved. We have been absolutely devastated by her loss, but what she started continues.

"We are so thankful to the support network around us and Belle. Our friends and family but also the services that supported Belle. From her social worker Liz Ryder, her community nurse Laura Thomas and the palliative care play specialist Dawn.

The new Spotlight Awards also saw ten other prizes for children and young people in Pembrokeshire in categories covering sport, music, youth voice, eco-champion, young leader and making a difference in the community. All of the award winners were nominated by council staff who work with them.

Cabinet member for Social Services Tessa Hodgson said:

"Belle's award was a very fitting end to an evening of celebrating the many achievements of the young people of Pembrokeshire. We are so proud of our young people and it is extremely important for us to value and celebrate their contributions to our county."