A BRAVE man who dedicated his youth to taking care of his depressed gran has won an award for helping other young carers in Cumnock.

Shane Flynn, 27, has been looking after his gran, who suffers from mental health problems, since he was 10-years-old.

Now he is the Young People’s Champion at Barshare Primary for his phenomenal support with youngsters and picked up an ‘excellence’ award for his work with East Ayrshire Carers.

Shane is motivated by his experience which left him struggling to make friends and worrying during school about making sure his gran was okay.

The dedicated carer wants to make sure children like him have time out of their busy lives and a safe place to just be kids for a while.

Shane said: “I help with a group that works with young people in a caring role, it gives the activities and play away from their role.

“I plan a lot of activities so I think that’s why I won the award.

“I’m a carer myself and since I have been since I was a young boy I know how good it is to let them get their mind on something else for a while.

“I was always the first person in line to help and support my gran, she struggled with things like anxiety depression and mood swings.

“That made it hard to make friends because you always feel like you are in this separate bubble worrying about her.

“It has definitely made me a stronger person, I am really aware of people’s feelings and more empathetic to their needs.

“It helps me with the kids I work with now.

“My experience has really helped me with the kids, and I want to make sure they know they are supported and listened to and that there is always someone there for them.

“It definitely motivates me as well because I was to make sure they get that time away I think could have helped me when I was younger.

“I also like being creative and making up games and I feel very happy when doing that.”