Page last updated at 18:19 GMT, Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Courage award for carer, aged 7

William John and Prince Harry
When William met Harry - at Westminster Abbey following the awards in London

A seven-year-old boy from Swansea who cares for his mother who has multiple sclerosis has rubbed shoulders with Prince Harry and the Prime Minister.

William John from Loughor picked up a Young Carer award at the Woman's Own Children of Courage Awards in London.

William's mother Wendy, who separated from his father when he was two, said she could not get by without him.

As well as meeting stars from Strictly Come Dancing and The X-Factor William also visited 10 Downing Street.

His mother was diagnosed with MS 10 years ago.

She said: "All the things I can no longer do, William does - he's always there making my life easier. He has been incredible."

William and other children met Gordon Brown in Downing Street

She has trouble getting out of bed, dressing and carrying things - all jobs William has taken.

His mother said he was constantly striving to help, even when it meant missing out on things other boys his age enjoy, such as rugby practice.

"I'm always falling over which must be very frightening for William but he takes it in his stride and helps me get up," she added.

"One day I didn't wake up at all - my body had shut down from exhaustion. Despite being terrified, he phoned his nan and stayed calm until help arrived.

"If it wasn't for William I might not be here today. I honestly don't think I could live without him."

William and his mother Wendy talk about his caring

Williams is one of 10 winners from all over the UK to be recognised at the awards, now in its 35th year.

Among celebrities invited were pop group Girls Aloud, actress Catherine Tate, Strictly Come Dancing judges Len Goodman, Arlene Phillips and Craig Revel Horwood, former X Factor hopeful Rhydian Roberts and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker.

Woman's Own editor, Karen Livermore, said: "All our winners have shown tremendous courage and huge determination and we're delighted to give them the recognition they truly deserve."

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