Sunday, 27 February 2011

Oh, what a night!

Two fundraisers in two different British countries netted more than £2,000 for the Happy House on Friday, writes Elizabeth Gomm.
In Scotland, Agnes and Brian Crighton, helped by family and friends, held a race night at their village pub - the Macdonald Arms, Belbeggie, raising an incredible £1,470 - with still more to come.
A delighted Agnes, who sponsors baby Harry, said: "It was a wonderful night and people were so generous and so interested in the Happy House."
Across the border, in Blackpool, a Chinese Banquet at the Ocean Palace, hosted by Barbara Holden (who sponsors Jedidah), raised another £600. There was a bumper raffle, guess the number of choclates, Easter goody bags, name the Happy House smile, plus sponsor an Easter chicken for the Happy House.
And the evening also gave a bright young talent a chance to make her performance debut. Although only just 12, Melissa Miles has a strong and beautiful voice and  she certainly deserved the  huge round of applause she received  at the end of a stunning set of songs - just remember, you saw her name here first!
There was a surprise,too, for guest Emma Fineman, celebrating her 10th birthday, when she was presented with a birthday cake, card and a Happy House chick.
Emma will be visiting the Happy House later in the year with her mum Jackie and sister Hailey to visit their sponsor children, Charity and Stevie.
Thank you to Agnes and Brian and Barbara and Steve Holden and to everyone who helped them in any way, to those who donated prizes and, of course, to those who went along to make the events such successes.
The night brought a great result and some desperately needed cash to help meet the huge costs of providing the very best in childcare for our ever growing Happy House family.
Pictures show: Guests at the Chinese banquet, singer Melissa Miles and birthday girl Emma Fineman with her mum and sister.
Watch this space for pictures of the Scottish race night!

Friday, 25 February 2011


Hailey Aspinall Ellis, who with her mum, Jackie Fineman, sponsors babies Stevie and Charity worked her socks off at the weekend to raise £211 towards her volunteer donation for the Happy House, writes Elizabeth Gomm.
Hailey, from Blackpool, volunteered at the Happy House last year and built up such a strong bond with the kids she plans to go back later this year to help out again, this time with her mum and younger sister, Emma
Hailey helped by her mum plus Emma, brother Joe, and friends organised lots of stalls at the fair held at St John Vianney Parish Centre.
Artist Daneille Merricks  (pictured (left) with Hailey) ensured all the helpers wore Happy House smiles and there were so many goodies left over Hailey was up at 6am the following day to do a car boot sale to add to her takings.
"It was the first time I'd been up at 6am since I was at the Happy House, " she said.
Thank you to Hailey and everyone who helped out or supported the event. The fair brought us an added bonus when a lovely lady signed up to join our family of child sponsors and is delighted now, to know, that she will be sponsoring Shakilar.
Hailey, a teaching assistant,  has set herself a target of raising £500 for the Happy House before her trip.
In our second picture are Melissa Cobley, Jackie Fineman, Joe Fineman and Hailey Apinall Ellis.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Fw: Cookin' up cash!

Paula Lochrie hosted a Pampered Chef evening at her Oxfordshire home and raised an incredible £445+ for the Happy House, write Elizabeth Gomm.
Paula's mum and dad, Brenda and John Groves,  who sponsor Happy House toddler Charity and SDA secondary pupil, Joy.
They have long been friends and supporters of Children of Watamu and have done so much to raise moneuy and awareness, as well as helping practically by volunteering at the Happy House. Granddaughters Chloe and Lucy have also been to help us.
The Happy House sends a huge thank you to Paula, Brenda,  and all their friends who made this latest fundraiser such a tremendous success. Paula is pictured (second left) with some of her friends who attended the evening.
Brenda and John set off for the Happy House next week and have so much to take with them that is needed by our kids - including two travel cots. We so appreciate all they do and the way in which their whole family has become involved.
Tomorrow (Friday) we have a Chinese Banquet at the Ocean Palace, Talbot Road, Blackpool, 7pm for 7.30pm, with proceeds rto the Happy House. Tickets are £16. Email if you would like to come.
Also tomorrow, in Belbeggie, Perthshire, Agnes and Brian Crighton, who sponsor baby Harry, are holding a Donkey Derby night at the Macdonald Arms, Belbeggie. It starts at 7.30pm and everyone is welcome!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Classroom capers!

Wide-awake Childcare and Social Health students at Yorkshire's Doncaster College went to class in their pyjamas to raise money or the Happy House.
The students, prompted by tutor Lesley Pidcock, who sponsors Natasha and Janet, paid £1 each to swap their usual uniform for pjs or regular clothes. They also held a raffle and  sold copies of a painting created by Health & Social Care student, Diag, 
Lesley said: "I thought it was so good I had it framed for her  and asked her permission to copy it, we have printed 50 copies which we are selling numbered as a limited edition for the price of £1."
By the end of the day  they had raised £114 - £35 of  which has been used to buy a new cot ,which I  will be taking out  to Kenya with me next week. The remainder will go towards meeting the vital costs of bringing up an ever growing family.
The students and staff have also raised enough money to sponsor one of our children and are thrilled to be in the sponsor family of one of our newest arrivals, baby Joseph.
Thank you so much to everyone at the college who for continuing to support our children and a  special mention must go to  Lesley for the way in which she is constantly mindful of taking the Happy House word to a new audience and for her own individual fundraising efforts.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Baby David is home at last


We are so thrilled that the Happy House Kids have a new brother, David Hayward. David was abandoned by his Mother on the 20th of December 2010, he was 2 months premature and weighed 1.5kgs. His birth Mother walked out of the hospital within hours, as so often happens. He should have come home to us last week but the hospital found his blood count was very low and needed to have a small transfusion. It may be that David's Mum was HIV positive. We will not know if David also has the virus until he is a few months old and the tests can be more conclusive than at this age.

The Happy House Kids are always thrilled to have a new brother, and welcomed him with open arms.

An Ever Growing Family

On Monday the Children's office called us to go with them to visit some children who were being very badly neglected by their mother. When we arrived at the house a neighbor told us the Mother had taken the youngest child, a baby girl into Malindi for begging. 4 children were alone in the ramshackle filthy hut. Fred, the youngest child there was naked, the others were in dirty rags. Billy our Social Worker has been doing his job for 15 years and he was shocked by the conditions as were the Children's Officers. I was just stunned that a Mother could leave her children like this. I have worked here 11 years and seen many cases of extreme poverty, but this was not just poverty it was neglect in the extreme.

It was decided we would take the children home to the Happy House. When we asked them to come with us they just came, there was no questions, no resistance, nothing. Billy thought it was due to the fact that they knew wherever we were taking them could not be any worse than where they were. A message was left with a neighbour for the Mother to go the Children's Office the following morning with the baby, which she did. She was told why her children had been removed from her care and also told to give us the baby. She just handed baby Rose over to us. As we walked towards our vehicle Billy carrying the baby, the Mother waved goodbye. No show of emotion at all, just nothing!! She still has 2 older children in her care and the children's Office will monitor the situation carefully. The man who raped the 9 year old was known to the child so we have informed the children's office who say they will follow the case.
When we arrived with Rose her brothers and sisters were so thrilled they were passing her from one to the other kissing and cuddling her. They were a family of little carers. Now they are part of the Happy House family they can again be children, children who run laugh and play in the knowledge they are safe with a family that loves them.