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Boy, five, with rare disorder switches on ExCeL Christmas tree lights

PUBLISHED: 15:00 04 December 2019

Joshua Ossoulo, five, is joined by dad Ange and brother Jonathan to switch on the ExCeL's Christmas lights. Picture: Kirk Brampton, GDC/ExCeL London

Joshua Ossoulo, five, is joined by dad Ange and brother Jonathan to switch on the ExCeL's Christmas lights. Picture: Kirk Brampton, GDC/ExCeL London

Kirk Brampton, GDC/ExCeL London

A five-year-old boy with a rare mitochondrial disorder was given a Christmas to remember after being invited to turn on the ExCeL's festive lights.

Joshua Ossoulo, whose condition has not yet been formally named, was joined by his brother Jonathan and parents Alberta and Ange to switch on the Royal Docks venue's 20ft tree on Monday, December 2.

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Staff from both the ExCeL and Richard House Children's Hospice, where Joshua receives care, were at the switch-on alongside pupils from Calverton Primary School, who entertained the crowd with carols.

The event also marked a new partnership between the ExCeL and Richard House, with the exhibition centre providing the Beckton-based hospice with its own Christmas tree.

ExCeL CEO Jeremy Rees said: "I'm proud that we're able to support its incredible work as part of our efforts to give back to the community and leave a lasting legacy."

Chris Baker, CEO of Richard House, added: "This occasion, with Joshua and his family switching on the lights at the venue was a heart-warming way of beginning this new partnership - which I can't wait to take forward with the ExCeL team."

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