IT WAS a magical day to remember for some of the nation’s bravest children as Scotland’s Little Champions enjoyed a trip to the toy shop.

The courageous trio – who are finalists in our new awards – were treated to an afternoon of Nerf gun battles, magic tricks, glitter tattoos and teddy bear cuddles in Glasgow’s Hamleys store.

It was a chance for Lily Douglas, 11, Nathan Pearce, 12, and six-year-old Chloe Lennon to get to know each other ahead of this Saturday’s glittering ceremony.

They were all nominated in the Little Champions category, which highlights outstanding children whose achievements or bravery make your heart burst with pride.

The special outing – courtesy of Glasgow’s St Enoch Centre – included a £100 shopping voucher to be used in any of their stores, which allowed the young heroes to get kitted out for their big night.

The inspirational youngsters, who received a sack full of toys from Hamleys, all deserve their place in the final three as they have gone above and beyond – either saving lives, raising awareness and battling illness.

Nathan, from Coatbridge, who challenged Hamleys’ resident toy soldier to a Nerf gun battle, was delighted with his afternoon of fun.



He said: “It was brilliant being able to fire a Nerf gun in a toy shop without getting told off and I really enjoyed watching the magician do his tricks. Racing the remote control stunt cars was also lots of fun.

“I’m really looking forward to the awards. It was good to meet the other finalists and it will be nice to see them again on the night.”

The schoolboy saved his dad Stuart’s life in January by helping to cut him free after a school bus smashed into the back of his car and sent it crashing into nearby houses.

After seeing his father trapped in the smashed vehicle, Nathan rushed back inside his mum’s house to get a knife to help cut his dad free from the wreckage.

Stuart said: “There are some adults who wouldn’t have been able to do what he did in a crisis. He could so easily have panicked but he stayed calm and did what he had to to get me out. I’m so proud of him.

“Being nominated for an award and having days like this will be great for him to look back on when he’s older. He’s a good kid.”

Lily took little Chloe under her wing within minutes of meeting her and the pair had great fun getting their nails and glitter tattoos done by Ragdoll Rachel.

Lily, from Perth, said: “This has been the best afternoon and I can’t wait to see Chloe again at the awards. She is just so cute and we love all the same girly glittery things. I’ve got a really pretty dress for Saturday and I’m going to get my makeup done. I’m still working on the accessories but the more sparkly, the better.”

Battling cancer for the second time in her short life, Lily’s love of dancing and winning titles inspires everyone she meets.

She was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer last September, just weeks after being given the all-clear for stage four Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.

Lily, who had 14 rounds of chemotherapy and had to have her shoulder blade removed, has won more than 100 trophies and 200 dancing medals.

Her mum Jane said: “Lily is undergoing intensive chemo at the moment but you wouldn’t know it to look at her.

“She was in hospital last Saturday and the next day she won three firsts at a dance competition in Stirling. She never ceases to amaze me.

“We’re busy making memories and days like this are up there with the best. She can’t wait to get dressed up for the awards, which is going to be another memorable night for the whole family.”

Chloe, who has become one of the country’s most in-demand child models, was over the moon when a big Hamleys bear gave her a teddy to take home along with a bag full of LOL doll goodies.

The schoolgirl, who has Down’s syndrome, has only been modelling for a year but has already starred in campaigns for River Island, Marks & Spencer and Ella’s Kitchen.

Chloe’s infectious personality and determination to prove that the sky is the limit for kids with disabilities has helped break down barriers.

Her mum Jade said: “What a fabulous day. Chloe has fallen in love with Lily, who she says is her new BFF.

“She thinks she is going to a big party on Saturday to make new friends, which is lovely. Chloe will take it all in her stride as she does everything in life. She’s a wee star. All three kids are very special.

“We can’t thank the St Enoch Centre or Hamleys enough for all the gifts, goodie bags and vouchers they gave all the kids. Chloe is a very lucky little girl.”

Scotland’s Champions brings together two long-standing campaigns from the Sunday Mail and Daily Record – the Great Scot Awards, which clocked up 28 years, and Our Heroes, which had been running for 18 years.

The glittering event at the DoubleTree by Hilton Glasgow Central Hotel is sponsored by Utilita and will salute the nation’s unsung heroes, as well as pay tribute to some well-kent faces from the worlds of sport and entertainment.

The evening, which will be hosted by TV favourite Jackie Bird and radio presenter Des Clarke, will be attended by a host of TV celebrities and it looks set to be the hottest ticket in town.

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