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Inspirational young carer chosen to switch on Loughborough’s Christmas lights

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Amellia Baker with her mum Vicky Wilson, the Mayor of Charnwood, Cllr Margaret Smidowicz and Cllr Jennifer Tillotson

The 11-year-old from Sileby was surprised with the news in her school assembly.

A youngster described as 'a kind, caring, loving, young lady' has been chosen to ‘Light up Loughborough’ and switch on the town’s Christmas lights in front of thousands of people on Sunday 26 November.

Amellia Baker, from Sileby, has been named the winner of the Light up Loughborough competition run by Charnwood Borough Council.

The 11-year-old stood out to judges as she sacrifices her time to help her mum Vicky Wilson and dad Russ Baker, look after her nine-year-old sister who has Angelman Syndrome.

The rare neuro-genetic disorder causes developmental problems and leads to a child having learning difficulties, an abnormal sleep pattern and means they can be non-verbal.

Meet Amellia here

Meet Amellia the 11-year-old from Sileby who has won the Light Up Loughborough competition and will be turning on the Christmas lights on Sunday. She was chosen for all the work she does looking after her sister who has Angelman Syndrome.

Posted by Fosse 107 on Monday, November 20, 2023

Amellia's Mum Vicky, entered her daughter into the competition and said:  “Amellia is a very loving and caring, young lady. She often misses out on some social activities but never complains. 

“When I was sent the link to nominate Amellia, I felt this would be something that will show her how proud we are of her and appreciate everything she does and sacrifices to help me.  All young carers are superstars!”

The news was broken to Amellia by the Mayor of Charnwood, Cllr Margaret Smidowicz and Cllr Jennifer Tillotson at a surprise assembly at her school, Wreake Valley Academy.

Amellia said: “I was really surprised to find out that I am turning on the Christmas lights as I didn’t even know my mum had entered me into the competition.

“I can’t wait for Sunday, it will be a lot of fun to go up on stage and turn the lights on in front of all those people.”

The Light up Loughborough winner has also received a family ticket to this year’s pantomime, Peter Pan, at Loughborough Town Hall and a £50 Love Loughborough voucher.

Cllr Jennifer Tillotson, the Council’s lead member for economic development, regeneration and town centres was part of the judging panel and who attended the surprise assembly, said: “As always, it is a pleasure to read so many of the entries into the Light Up Loughborough competition and it was a tough choice once again.

“Amellia stood out to us because of the work she puts into looking after her sister and the time which she sacrifices to help her parents.

“We were so inspired by her story and felt like she deserved a day of festive joy and happiness and hopefully this will lead to Amellia having a memory which will last a very long time.

“I would like to thank everyone that entered this year’s competition and I look forward to seeing everyone and Amellia at the Christmas lights switch-on.”

The Christmas lights will be switched on in Loughborough on Sunday 26 November.

Market Place will host a wide range of stalls, food and drink stands and fairground rides from 11 am and then from 12 pm, a host of talented performers will be appearing on the main stage to entertain the crowds.

The lights will then be switched on at 5 pm by Amellia.

Fosse 107 will be hosting this year’s Christmas lights switch-on with thanks to headline sponsor Loughborough Kia.

You can find out more about Angelman Syndrome here: www.angelman.org


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