Coronavirus: Teen moved in to care for great-gran, 90

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Joanna Murray and her great-gran, Mary MurrayImage source, Joanna Murray
Image caption,
Joanna Murray and her great-grandma Mary have spent the time watching television and chatting about books

A 15-year-old girl caring for her 90-year-old great-grandma amid the coronavirus outbreak has been praised for her "selfless" behaviour.

Joanna Murray, of Marsden, South Shields, has spent the past seven weeks learning to cook and clean after moving in when the lockdown was announced.

Her mother Diane, said the youngster had "put her heart into it".

Abi Green, of the Isolation Help - South Tyneside group, described her efforts as "incredible".

Joanna said she packed a bag of clothes and moved in with Mary Murray as soon as she heard about the government's lockdown measures.

"I wanted to do everything I could to help," she said.

"I've never, ever done cooking and cleaning before. To go from nothing to doing it every day was stressful, but I'm getting used to it now. I've got into a routine.

"I'm with someone I've always wanted to be close with. This bond has always been there, but it's become even more of a thing.

"I've realised how important it is to spend time together."

While carers visit daily, the pupil at Gateshead's Kingsmeadow School has been earning praise for her apple crumble and rice pudding.

Her first attempt at using the washing machine did not go without a hitch, though.

"I'd been watching my mam to see how she used hers, but I put it on the wrong setting."

Diane said: "I know she's doing it because she wants to do it. I'm very proud.

"It's hard not being able to give her a cuddle, but I can support her through social media or waving through the window or at the end of the garden."

The separation has been difficult for Joanna too, who has been missing her parents and older brother and sister.

"All I want is to get a big hug off my mam and dad," she said.

Miss Green, who helps runs the Isolation Help - South Tyneside support group on Facebook, said she was "such a selfless young lady".

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