Overnight pool tournament in honour of little Amelia

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Kind-hearted locals at a Rushden pub are hoping to raise hundreds in honour of a little girl who suffers from a rare, life-alterting condition.

The King Edward VII pub in Queen Street is hosting a 24-hour pool tournament with their own team of regulars playing against a team representing the charity Dravet Syndrome UK.

The tournament is being organised by Scott Howard, whose niece Amelia Howard, four, from Harrold, suffers from Dravet Syndrome.

Amelia was diagnosed when she was two. The illness is a lifelong condition for which there is no cure.

It affects one in 40,000 people, causes serious seizures which can result in sudden death, and leaves sufferers with a range of illnesses including developmental delays, orthopaedic conditions, growth issues and chronic infections.

King Edward landlord Nick Barry has already shaved his head - just three weeks before his wedding - to kick-start the fundraising campaign. Amelia went along to begin the shaving process.

This weekend, the pool tournament will take place from 12noon on Saturday (October 29). Each team member is being sponsored for their efforts.

Scott said: “There’s not a lot of awareness of Dravet Syndrome so we’re trying to spread the word about what it is and raise some money for the charity at the same time.

“We’re hoping to do a series of events and we’re really grateful to Nick for starting us off by shaving his head. He’s already raised more than £200. I’m not sure that when he agreed to do it he realised it was just three weeks before his wedding!

“Amelia will break the first set of balls then we’re going to be playing pool all night. The players have their own sponsorship forms and have already started fundraising.

“Anyone who wants to come along to watch would be really welcome.”

There is more information on Dravet Syndrome UK here