Laura’s key to freedom

Laura Westwood, 18, cares for her sister and brother since her mum died. She has recently passed her driving test after winning driving lessons and a car on a TV show.L-R Brynn Westwood,Driving Instructor Nick Cox,Laura Westwood and Ebony Westwood

Laura Westwood, 18, cares for her sister and brother since her mum died. She has recently passed her driving test after winning driving lessons and a car on a TV show.L-R Brynn Westwood,Driving Instructor Nick Cox,Laura Westwood and Ebony Westwood

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TEARING up the ‘L’ plates is a milestone for most people but for one teenager carer it will mean freedom not only for her - but for her brother and sister who she has looked after since their mum died.

Laura Westwood, 18, is gearing up to take her handicapped brother, Brynn, 15, and little sister Ebony, 10, to the seaside.

She took over caring for them both when their mum, Nicola Westood, lost her battle with cancer last March.

Laura, of Thorntree Avenue, Crofton, said: “They can’t wait to go to the seaside. There’s so many places we couldn’t go before that we can go now.

“Brynn gets taken out a lot and when he does, me and Ebony use that time to go into town on the bus.

“But now we can all go out together and go anywhere we want, whenever we want.”

Crofton Academy pupil Brynn, 15, suffers from a muscular wasting disease and has to use a wheelchair.

Laura said: “Dad doesn’t live with us any more so it’s just us at home.

“But we have carers who come in the morning and at night to help

“It’s hard work but I just get on with it.”

She passed her test on Monday, September 26, after winning a course of driving lessons and a car on TV show Noel’s Christmas Presents.

Laura said: “I was so happy because I wouldn’t have been able to afford a new car.

“The car I won wasn’t suitable for Brynn so we’re waiting for a specially adapted one which can fit his wheelchair in.”

Laura used to attend college but she gave that up to her help look after the kids when her mum became ill.

But next year she hopes to start again studying psychology and law.

Laura started her lesson in December with BSM and despite failing her first test in July, she was determined to pass.

Instructor Nick Cox said: “Laura is a truly amazing girl and I have been delighted to help her get her driving licence.

“She has so much on her plate with looking after her family but she was determined to do it and she did.”