Rebecca Marsh is 10 and lives in Marton.

She has a winning smile and is extremely clever but battles daily with the physically debilitating condition cerebral palsy which affects her right side.

Two weeks ago at the Marton Country Music Festival, Rebecca was given a future challenge.

The StarBuddy Charitable Trust presented her with a purple ukulele and cinema passes for her and her family.


Her longtime caregiver Hannakah Wilson - now engaged to Rebecca's father Andrew - said the ukulele has been a huge delight to Rebecca.

She doesn't really sing yet but she is trying with her left hand to play her ukulele.

"She is playing what she calls clock chimes. She plucks the strings and they really sound like a clock chiming. It's really lovely."

Hannakah has been looking after Rebecca for nearly five years and said the little girl had made amazing physical progress.

She has been top of her class for the past five years at South Makirikiri School and nothing deters her, Hannakah said.

"She is very independent and loves to do things for herself and works very hard at it."

The trust will also help buy special equipment like musical instruments or books.

Even though she was a bit nervous getting on the stage to receive her award, she realised very fast that the people in the crowds were very happy for her, Hannakah said.

Rebecca was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was seven months old.

Hannakah said it was years before she would walk on her own and now she's only using her electric wheelchair for long distances.

"She wants to sing and play her ukulele and knowing Rebecca it won't take her too long. She's very determined."