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Student's children's charity launches Christmas appeal

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Published on 06 December 2023

Steph Capewell
Steph Capewell

A University of Sunderland student has turned the worst moment of her life into an opportunity to help families across the north-east so they never have to go without. 

Love, Amelia, the Sunderland-based charity dedicated to relieving poverty and hardship in babies, children, and their caregivers across the region, was founded by Steph Capewell in memory of her daughter, Amelia, who was born in January 2018 but tragically passed away just 12 minutes after birth. 

In the days following Amelia’s birth, Steph met a young mother at the hospital who had recently given birth but had no supplies for her newborn baby. In an act of compassion, Steph shared some of Amelia's belongings to help other children in their community.

Inspired to make a lasting impact, Steph created 12 boxes filled with essential baby items, symbolising each minute of Amelia's short life. These boxes were gifted to families in need, carrying with them a letter signed as a gift from Amelia herself, offering support and personal connection to those in need, and creating the name of the charity.

This year, the rising cost of living crisis has intensified the struggles faced by families in our community. Love, Amelia has helped over 4,000 children this year alone, making it vital for the charity to expand its efforts. The charity's mission to provide essential items and equipment to children living in poverty remains a priority and is needed today more than ever. 

Last Christmas, Love, Amelia made a difference to the lives of almost 1,000 young people and their families by providing them with gifts to unwrap on Christmas Day, offering a glimmer of hope during the festive season. Without the charity’s support, these children would have had nothing to celebrate.

With the holiday season fast approaching, Love, Amelia is calling on the generous spirit of the region’s community and beyond to come together to ensure ‘no child is forgotten about by Santa’ this Christmas. 

Steph, 30, from Castletown, Sunderland, said: "Every child deserves to experience the magic of Christmas, regardless of their circumstances. The families we support struggle to provide even the most basic essentials for their children, making a simple Christmas seem impossible. Love, Amelia is dedicated to ensuring that none of the children we support go without during this festive season.

"We invite individuals, businesses, and charitable funders to join us in spreading joy and kindness to those who need it the most. Your contribution, no matter how small, can make a significant difference to the lives of these vulnerable families. With your help, we can make their Christmas special.”

The charity has enlisted the help of Tyneside actor and TV personality, Denise Welch.

Denise, a patron of Love, Amelia, said “Love, Amelia give children who would not normally have a Christmas, something to look forward to.

“More children than ever are going to go without anything.  Not just toys, they are going to go without blankets, food, beds this Christmas so every little bit helps.”

Love, Amelia helps children all year-round with the essentials they need to be safe, happy and give them the opportunity to thrive.  Demand for the service has sky-rocketed, with a staggering one in eight babies born in Sunderland this year being supported by the charity who provide vital items such as clothes, mattresses, cots, pushchairs, and other essentials to thousands of children who are otherwise without.  

Steph, who is studying an MBA in Senior Leadership at the University, won the charity and volunteer award at this year’s Wear Businesswomen Awards. She also won Best Charity at the Who Cares Wins Awards, which aired on Channel 4 earlier this year.

Donations can be made online through https://loveamelia.enthuse.com/cf/christmas-gift-appeal-2023 or text LOVEAMELIA to 70085 to donate £5.