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Remarkable Janet is rewarded for exceptional contribution to sick children with national WellChild Award

Health Play Specialist Janet Concannon has been named as a winner in the prestigious national 2015 WellChild Awards, in association with GSK, and collected her prize at the London Hilton last night.

Janet who is a Health Play Specialist at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, was picked from hundreds of nominations from across the UK to win the Special Recognition Award.

The awards celebrate the courage of children coping with serious illnesses or complex conditions, and honour the dedication of professionals who go the extra mile to help sick children and their families. The Awards are run by WellChild, the national charity for seriously ill children.

Janet was one of the stars of the show at the high profile Awards ceremony, which was attended by WellChild's Royal Patron, Prince Harry.

Prince Harry said:

"The stories we have heard tonight are moving beyond words. They remind us of the utter insignificance of our everyday worries. Yet, one of the things that always stands out is the positivity shown by those in the most difficult and testing circumstances. It is heartening to hear so many stories of happiness and hope, even through the dark times."

Janet was nominated by 13 year old Brooke Taylor, one of the young people she cares for in her role as Play Specialist at the hospital. Brooke has a complex condition which has required many operations at the hospital. She nominated Janet for the way she has helped her, treating her as a teenager rather than a child, acting as her voice to make her views known to other health professionals and talking things through, understanding her fears. Janet always takes her views into account and ensures she only has good experiences at the hospital.

With hundreds of nominations received from across the country, the difficult job of choosing winners in all WellChild Award categories is given, each year, to an esteemed panel of judges. That panel consists of leading health professionals and others with an interest in children's health and includes children and young people who face serious illness themselves.

WellChild's Director of Programmes, Linda Partridge, is also a member of that panel. She said: "It is a tremendous challenge to select winners from the many, many truly amazing nominations we receive from all over the country. All the panel members are moved by the bravery of the children, the stories of selfless care and support and the dedication of the doctors, nurses, teachers, brothers and sisters who make a great difference to the lives of seriously ill children and young people. Janet truly deserves to be the winner of this award.

"The Awards are a perfect demonstration of WellChild's commitment to helping as many seriously ill children and their families as we can and embody our aim of raising awareness of their needs."