A WINCHESTER woman has been nominated for an award for helping to care for her older sister.

Alex Gregory, 27, has been nominated for an award that recognises the help and support she continues to give to her 32-year-old sister Chrissy, who has autism, learning disabilities, epilepsy, challenging behaviour and a rare chromosome disorder.

Alex’s mum Jane nominated her in disability charity Contact a Family’s first-ever awards to help shine a spotlight on the often unseen things people do for their disabled siblings.

Jane said: “Despite the considerable challenges Alex faced growing up with Chrissy, she devotes nearly all her time to supporting other people with additional needs, their families, and in particular siblings of children with autism.

“Growing up with Chrissy and helping us to support her has really shaped Alex’s life and career. After working as a Special Educational Needs Teacher, ABA Tutor and Assistant Psychologist in specialist schools for children with autism, she is now undertaking a professional doctorate in Educational Psychology and we couldn’t be prouder.

“When she was younger, she volunteered in a school in Tanzania where she supported a particular individual with learning difficulties.

"She even runs regular sibling support workshops for parents and siblings of children with disabilities to share her own experiences and explore ways to support families with any challenges they may face.

“I was so pleased to be able to nominate Alex for a Contact a Family sibling award.

"She has overcome so much adversity and has absolutely no self-pity – only compassion and a real passion to help others facing similar challenges.

"Win or lose - she is an absolute star in our family!”

Alex said: “I am really excited about being nominated for a Contact a Family award.

"Although there have been challenges growing up with a sister with complex needs, Chrissy is our very own Peter Pan; forever young, with a great sense of fun.

“She has also inspired my whole career path and I am grateful to be able to use my experiences to help others in similar situations.

"My life truly has been enriched and fulfilled by having my sister in it and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Contact a Family CEO Amanda Batten said: “I was touched to learn about Alex’s story and what a difference she makes to her family.

"We really can’t believe the number of wonderful nominations that families have submitted to us so far – it is going to be really difficult for our judges to shortlist the finalists.”

“Contact a Family supports families with disabled children whatever the disability or condition. Our awards are fantastic opportunity for families to give someone special in their family’s life the recognition they truly deserve.”

The shortlisted nominations will be announced early January 2017 and shortlisted families will be invited to an awards ceremony in the state rooms of the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, in January 2017.

The event will be hosted by Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Presenter Jane Garvey.