A GRATEFUL mum has praised a school teaching assistant for going above and beyond the call of duty to help her poorly daughter.
Melanie Barlow was a teaching assistant at Spitalgate Primary School when she was nominated for an award by the Haemophilia Society for her work helping Piper Willets.
Melanie and Piper were then invited along to London Zoo where Melanie was presented with a special “Buddy Award” from children’s TV stars Dick and Dom.
Piper’s mum Laura Willets said: “Mel has been great and made things so much easier for us.
“Piper is just a typical seven-year-old who likes running around, climbing trees and everything else that comes with being seven.
“But she has to be kept an eye on at all times, because even little things like cutting herself or bumping into things - just catching herself on a piece of paper even, you have to keep an eye on because it can bleed for quite a long time.”
Mel is no longer at the school having moved down south.
Laura said: “If she was ever worried she could sit and talk to Mel. If she was ever a bit down Mel was always there for there to help her.
“It’s a shame she has left but we still keep in touch.”
The ceremony itself gave young Piper the chance to meet the TV stars whilst also seeing Mel again.
Laura said: “Dick and Dom were amazing. They are real characters and it was nice to see Mel too to catch up.”