When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or as in Louie Whelan-Dorney's case...bake a lemon cake.

Louie’s story is a living example that even when you have a whole bucket of lemons thrown at you, you can still look at the world from a positive note.

The thirteen-year-old was recently given the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2021 Tendring Youth Awards, which celebrated his resilience and ability to cope with the challenges of every day life.

The winners were unveiled at a glitzy presentation evening in Clacton’s Princess theatre, where young people were honoured for their enthusiasm, determination and passion for their community.

Having been diagnosed with Tourettes syndrome when he was seven, Louie suffers from vocal and motor ticks, which come hand in hand with anxiety and depression.

His tics can cause extreme fatigue and others even lead to physical pain.

Louie also suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder and attention deficit disorder but the one thing that brings him comfort in times of need is baking.

In fact he is so good at it he even won a national competition.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Louie draws comfort from bakingLouie draws comfort from baking

His mother Kelly Whelan, 37, of Walton, said: “ Louie has struggled at school and social situations since his diagnosis but he wouldn't let it beat him .

“Sometimes anxiety is so bad he will not want to go out – he has very low mood days.

"He just wants to be a typical 13-year-old teenager but sometimes he is held back and that upsets him.

“Baking for Louie is his escape, his tics calm a lot because he is doing something he loves .

“He has to concentrate on the baking so it helps distract him from his day to day problems .”

Baking is also a passion that runs in the family.

Louie's nun has always making cakes with him and his uncle Charlie Dorney is also a chef.

Now Louie bakes whenever he can, and enjoys making a variety of dishes - from cakes to lamb chops and any fancy meal one would crave.

He even used to take some of his creations to school.

Kelly added: “When Louie started to cook we knew it was something he was going to be good at.

“He would bake cakes and take it in to the staff at school that looks after him.

"He is very caring always and worries about others and how people are.

“He did an Italian theme for me, his dad and my parents - a prawn dish and bruschetta all from scratch.

"He also has a Mexican dish he likes to cook, the recipe of which he got from his grandad.”

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Louie enjoys cooking a variety of mealsLouie enjoys cooking a variety of meals

But Louie’s passion for cooking goes beyond the dishes he prepares for his loved ones at home.

He let everyone have a bite of his creations during a national cooking competition at Bournemouth and Poole College in Bournemouth.

And not only was Louie a finalist in the Aspiring Chef 11-16 category, but he also ended up being the winner.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Louie won the Aspiring Chef 11-16 categoryLouie won the Aspiring Chef 11-16 category

Kelly said: "He had to fill in an application form online and send in what he would cook and what ingredients he would use .

“He was selected and went through to the competition where he was up against 11 other people and he won .

"I am very proud. He is an amazing young man with a lot of drive and ambition.

"He had an amazing day, and we could not have been prouder."

With two awards in his pocket, Louie is an inspiration for any other youngster in the same boat as him.

He catches the lemons and throws them back at life.

Because as Kelly said, "no matter what you struggle with, if you push yourself and try hard you can do anything you put your mind to."