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Parent of the Year


Parent of the Year sponsored by Inter-Line Building Supplies

The winner of The Parent of the Year award is:

Sarah Neill

Sarah NeillFor helping to set up support groups for families with children with different needs, Sarah deserves this award as she is an absolute hero. When her son was diagnosed with Trichorhinophalangeal Syndrome, she set up a world-wide support group for families with children who also suffer from this condition. It is an extremely rare condition affecting around 1 in every 250,000 people.

There is only one other person in Devon with this condition. Trichorhinophalangeal Syndrome is a genetic condition caused by a deletion of part of a chromosome in the genetic make-up of the developing embryo. This person may be the first in their family with TRPS or sometimes it can be traced back through several generations. Symptoms include many skeletal problems, slow growth and short stature as an adult, sparse and slow-growing hair, usually light in colour protruding ears and fingers and toes may be short and crooked.  Those affected face a lifetime of issues and operations.


The runner-up of The Parent of the Year award is:

John Thompson

John Thompson

John has been the best parent to his three children when their mum passed away in 2001 when his daughters were just 6, 9 and 10. He was working away from home, running his business in Torquay and in the Midlands working all hours to give his children the best childhood and future. 

He would always make sure his children weren’t without. He taught them all the life skills they needed to know at a young age cooking cleaning and being independent. His children always had a great life, which such lovely memories from holidays spent together. Still to this day, the girls say “he is a mother & father to us”. Two of his daughters followed in his footsteps and joined the armed forces with his support. He still runs his own business to this day and works very hard, he is one of a kind.


Parent of the Year semi-finalists:

Kate Evans Jones

Kate Evans JonesKate is a full-time carer for her daughter Millie who at the age of two developed a Brain Tumour, resulting in her having to go to America for treatment. Thankfully the tumour is no longer present, but like any tumour, it could come back. The side effects of the treatment mean that there are a lot of medical conditions affecting Millie, with seizures being just one of them. Kate is always fighting to get her daughter the support and treatment and funding she needs.

At a recent Brownie trip to a PGL camp in Torquay, Millie’s Brownie leader and another helper cared for Millie and saw first-hand what this brave little girl has gone through, with the help of an incredibly devoted mum. Kate is an incredible person, a devoted and caring single parent with two beautiful girls.


Jacquie Putt

Jacquie Putt

Nominated by her daughter who is currently living with a health condition that is crippling not only her but her loved ones too. “Without my mum, I fear I would not be here today; she keeps me motivated and keeps us all hopeful for the future and what exciting things we can do when I get better. She will drop anything to be with me night or day, even if all I need is a hug. She is my absolute hero and quite literally my lifesaver. ‘Thank you’ just doesn’t cut it for everything she does and is doing for me and our family through this hard time.



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