A TEN-year-old from Ashton-Upon-Mersey who helps look after her two younger brothers was among ten young carers who got a Christmas treat, when they launched Santa’s grotto at Stretford Mall.

Jessica Whelan, is a vital support to her seven-year-old brother Mason, who has autism, and her one-year-old baby brother Noel.

Her mother, Amanda suffers from fibromyalgia, a chronic condition which causes pain all over the body, and she needs support to help care for the two younger boys, while also supporting their older brother Luke, aged 17, who is at college.

The youngster was one of ten children supported by the Trafford Carers, to get a well-earned festive fuss at the shopping centre, where they were VIP guests at the launch of Santa's grotto.

Jessica said: "It was really fun seeing Santa. We got presents and some gingerbread and a drink - It was nice to have a break and get away from the boys."

Her mother, Amanda said: "Jessica is a massive help to all of the family, especially since Mason was born as his needs have always been complex. But Jessica adapted naturally and is brilliant with him.

"I've never known a child quite like her, she’s very popular and has a gift with people, she has done wonders for his progress.

"Jessica helps me and her dad around the house and with looking after her siblings but she does miss out on a lot because her brothers can't adapt to certain environments.

"It's heart breaking but she never complains, she just accepts it and I couldn't be prouder of her for that, she's an amazing person."

Jessica, is among more than 200 young carers who receive support from Trafford Carers, based at Stretford Mall.

Managers at Stretford Mall are encouraging shoppers to support the charity this Christmas, by donating any spare coins to the Wishing Well inside the shopping centre where all funds collected will be donated to them.

The charity's fundraising manager, Joanne Fowler said: "It was lovely to be able to treat some of our young carers at the grotto this weekend. We would like to thank everyone at Stretford Mall for this special experience.

"Every penny donated makes a huge difference, ensuring even more carers in Trafford get the support they need and deserve."

The grotto is open in Stretford Mall until Christmas eve.