Young Leeds carer takes to stage

Proud mum Linda Holmes with daughters Lucy and Becky. PIC: James Hardsity.
Proud mum Linda Holmes with daughters Lucy and Becky. PIC: James Hardsity.
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A young carer who only took up singing at the start of last year, has reached the regional final of an X-Factor style contest.

Becky Holmes, of Adel, discovered her musical talent through young carer sessions aimed at providing respite from helping to care for her older sister, who has a severe learning disability.

And the classes, provided by Barnardo’s Willow Young Carers Service at The Woolpack Studio in Otley, helped turn a shy youngster into a confident performer with dreams of stardom.

And this Sunday, in the regional finals of Teenstar UK at Sheffield City Hall, the 12-year-old singer and guitarist is hoping to take one step closer to making those dreams come true.

Proud mum Linda is a full-time carer for 19-year-old Lucy – who has the rare condition Angelman Syndrome – and is a trustee for Angelman Syndrome Support Education and Research Trust (Assert) as well as running several support groups on social media. She said: “I’m ecstatically proud of her and so is her dad.

Linda, 50, said: “We’ve got one child that can’t speak and one that sings. We’re very proud.

She added: “Becky sings whenever she can but she has had to juggle her singing around her caring role.”

Becky, a pupil at Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Otley, performed for crowds gathered outside The Woolpack Studio for the Tour de France last summer and has already had a taste of success having reached the last 120 out of thousands of entrants in Open Mic UK last year.

On Sunday she will be singing Sweet Child of Mine by Guns and Roses at Sheffield City Hall.And in the audience, willing her to win, will be the Holmes’s “extended family” from cities including Birmingham and Leicester, who they have become close to through the Angelman Syndrome support groups.