Published: 17:32, 25 February 2021
| Updated: 17:41, 25 February 2021
A dessert company that has been offering doorstep deliveries throughout lockdown is giving away free ice cream to children who have shown extraordinary spirit throughout the pandemic.
Lotties Lollies, an ice cream van which delivers around Maidstone, has launched its 'Little Heroes' campaign as a treat for children who have adapted through the difficult year.
Charlotte Watson from Tovil, who started the business in August, said she has seen first hand just how resilient little ones have been and wanted to give them some recognition.
The 32-year-old said: "It's great that we've been clapping for carers and supporting the NHS but I also wanted to do something for the kids because their world has been turned upside down yet they have continued to get on with everything without complaining.
"I've got a daughter and I know it can be difficult for some kids to express their emotions so I want to celebrate them and give them something to look forward to."
Since announcing the campaign on February 15, Miss Watson has been inundated with nominations for well-deserving youngsters across the town.
Nominations are still open on the business's Facebook page.
Everyone who has commented will be given a number. Around 50 winners will then be chosen at random to receive a visit from the customised van on Saturday, March 6.
One little boy nominated for his bravery is Zak Hammond from Leeds.
The six-year-old was diagnosed with cancer in his liver in 2017 and has spent the latest lockdown recovering from a liver transplant.
Not only has Zak remained in high spirits despite his gruelling treatment, his older brothers Tom, eight, and Harry, 18, have supported him by shielding since February last year.
Mum Caroline Sharp says: "We tell them all the time how special they are and how well they have done through all this so it would be nice for them to have that recognition from others too."
Previously, the Kingswood Primary School pupil had his pancreas and spleen removed and was given the all clear.
But a week before the first lockdown in March, the family were told the tumour had returned.
Zak underwent chemotherapy between May and September before his transplant in October and is now awaiting further scans to find out what treatment he needs going forward.
Ms Sharp added: "Zak had not long started school before we found out he was poorly again. He made some lovely friends and he is desperate to get back.
"It can be tiring at times but they give us the energy to keep going and they really deserve something special."
The Little Heroes campaign is open to those who live in Maidstone. All winners will be contacted by Lotties Lollies before the deliveries next weekend.