A ‘brave’ and ‘compassionate’ 10-year-old has been recognised on a children’s TV programme for the care he gives his sister.

Joe Elson, from Cartmel, was given the Big Heart Award from CBBC’s Operation Ouch!, which aired last week, after being nominated by his friend James.

The youngster is a young carer and helps look after his big sister Connie, who has Metachromatic Leukodystrophy, a rare genetic condition that causes damage to the brain.

Joe was also diagnosed with the condition but, as it was diagnosed early, he underwent treatment to prevent it from progressing.

“I nominated Joe because I think he’s been really brave looking after Connie,” said James.

Twins Dr Chris and Dr Xand, who host the educational show, travelled all the way up north last year in their taxi to present Joe with his award, which celebrates outstanding real-life medical heroes.

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HAPPY: Joe with his Big Heart award

Joe is always ensuring Connie is kept company and has something to listen to or look at.

He has also been doing sponsored walks to raise lots of money for charity.

“I blow bubbles for her and I sit with her so she’s got some company,” he said.

Mum Nicola Elson has described Joe as her ‘little wingman'.

GROUP: The whole family enjoyed the days activities

GROUP: The whole family enjoyed the day's activities

“Joe steps in whenever he’s needed, he’ll read and sit with Connie, he’s my little wingman really,” she said.

“He’s caring, compassionate and he quite often puts Connie before everything else.

“As soon as he’s home from school he’ll sit down and chat to her about his day.

“We were really blown away that James nominated Joe, it was a lovely, kind thing to do."

The proud mum said Joe thought the whole thing was a joke at first.

SIBLINGS: Joe with big sister Connie

SIBLINGS: Joe with big sister Connie

“When Joe got the phone call to say they were standing outside and that they’d really like to meet him he was really surprised," she said.

“I think he thought it was a wind-up.”

As a reward the family was treated to an afternoon of canoeing, with everyone able to join in.

Joe and James were ecstatic after beating the TV doctors to the watery finish line.

“It was really lovely to involve Connie,” said Ms Elson.

“It’s quite hard to involve her usually because she’s quite poorly.

PROUD: Joes mum Nicola

PROUD: Joe's mum Nicola

“Dr Chris and Dr Xand were such lovely people and the boys had the best time.”

The friends were also treated to a trip to Windsor Legoland.

Receiving his award, Joe said: “I wouldn’t be here without Connie, who has helped me a lot.”