Youngsters had fun in the sun at a Wrexham shopping centre as they helped two children’s hospices celebrate a landmark birthday.
This year sees Tŷ Gobaith at Conwy and its sister facility Hope House in Oswestry reaching their joint 21st anniversary.
To mark the big occasion a team of their fundraisers were at Eagles Meadow for a day of festivities, including lots of cake sampling, colouring and prize-winning games.
The six-strong team from Hope House’s Wrexham friends group running the event were housed for the day in the Story Shack which is taking pride of place in the centre during the school summer holidays as the base for special Wednesday storytelling sessions marking the centenary of the birth of iconic children’s author Roald Dahl.
Hope House area fundraiser Hannah Penney said: “To help celebrate our 21st birthday we’ve launched a special campaign called Eat Cake for Children in which we’re calling on all cake lovers, coffee drinkers, brilliant bakers and party animals to eat cake and raise funds for Ty Gobaith and Hope House and the children and families we care for.
“That’s why our big fundraising day at Eagles Meadow also had the Eat Cake theme.
“We had lots of home-made cakes on sale and there were also plenty of fun events to keep the children happy, including a teddy bear tombola, a lucky dip, colouring-in and jigsaw puzzles to do.
“We’re grateful to Eagles Meadow for letting us use the Story Shack, which was the perfect base for us and as the weather was so good throughout the day our tables and chairs around it were very popular with people soaking up the sun.”
One of the first young visitors to try her hand at the lucky dip was four-year-old Megan Evans from Penycae.
She came up with a bumper bundle or fab prizes including pencils and a colouring book.
“I also won a note book and some bubble stuff, so I’m really happy,” she said.
Her mum, Megan Evans, said: “As a family we’re strong supporters of the two hospices as they do such a great job and it was really good they were here today to help keep the children occupied.”
Three-year-old Ffion Williams from Wrexham, who turned up at the Story Shack with her mum Katie, tried her luck on the teddy bear tombola and drew out a cuddly teddy and rabbit.
Katie said: “She’s also planning to have ago on the lucky dip and can’t wait to see what she wins on that. We’re glad to be here today to support such a good cause.”
Three school friends from Llanarmon yn Ial, Olivia Johnson, nine, Cerys Rogers, six, and nine-year-old Nia Lightfoot couldn’t wait to get to grips with the giant jigsaw which they quickly put together inside the Story Shack.
A delighted Nia said: “It didn’t take us too long to finish because I’m used to doing jigsaws with a thousand pieces at home and this one didn’t have nearly so many – but it’s been a lot of fun.
Nia’s mum, Menna Lightfoot, and Louise Doyle, mum of Olvia and Cerys, waited outside the shack while the girls completed their task and Menna said: “We’re all keen supporters of the Ty Gobaith and Hope House hospices and collect things to donate to their charity shop in Mold, so we were very happy to see them here today and the three girls loved the games.”
Another satisfied customer for the tombola was four-year-old Elin Davies from Llangollen who was the lucky winner of a big bag of sweets.
Her mum, Laura Davies, said; “My sister has just done a work placement at Hope House and really enjoyed her time there, so it was good to see them at Eagles Meadow today doing something nice for the children and raising funds at the same time.”
Area fundraiser Hannah Penney said: “Thanks to the location at Eagles Meadow and the fantastic sunny weather we’ve had a very successful day, with scores of people coming along to see us.
“We’re inviting as many people as possible to join in with our Eat Cake for Children campaign.
“However they choose to help us celebrate the money they raise from their eat cake event will help us continue to provide specialist nursing and palliative care for children who are not expected to reach adulthood.
“We need to raise £6 million this year to continue to be here for children and their families from North and Mid Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire, so every cake sold could help us support a child near you.”
Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley said: “I am delighted the Story Shack was able to provide a base for Hope House as they celebrate this magnificent milestone.
“Their two hospices provide a fantastic service to families at a really difficult time in their lives. They are quite simply a national treasure and they deserve our support.”
For more details about the hospices’ Eat Cake fundraiser, go to: http://www.hopehouse.org.uk/home.html
Gobstoppingly Good Guzzling Treats is the theme for the next Roald Dahl Wednesday at the eagles Meadow Story Shack on August 24.
It features all things delicious in Roald Dahl, from the head-spinningly wondrous delights of the Chocolate Factory and Mr Fox’s fantastic feasting to horrid Wormy Spaghetti and Mrs Twit’s Bird Pie.
The tasty interactive session will allow children to create their own pretend sweets and treats worthy of a place in Mr Wonka’s hall of fame.
The Story Shack has also been used by a host of other local community groups and is available until August 23, with the last Road Dahl sessions the following day.
Anyone who is interested in using the Story Shack should contact Jade Hawksworth and send a brief description of their organisation what they are looking to achieve, along with contact details including a phone number. Applications should be sent to Jade.Hawksworth@bewonder.co.uk