Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Birthday smiles ... and tears

A trio of birthdays were celebrated at Kidz Club yesterday .... but not all were impressed.
Karembo and David were thrilled to be centre of attention receiving gifts and greetings from Mama Sue and all the family, but our Little Miss Solemn, Charity, was not a bit happy to be in the limelight.
Charity really can and does smile, and laughs a lot too, but point a camera in her direction, however surreptitiously, and her expression changes in a flash!
The contents of that pretty pink bag, I'm told, soon had her smiling like a princess.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Safely gathered in

Harvesting the crops takes all hands on deck and the kids just love being out in the garden helping out.
Still on school holiday, they were eager to be a part of the actions when our gardeners started picking the maize crop which, thanks to the rains, has flourished.
Sue says: "We like to keep the children busy and occupied which can be anything from learning the multiplication tables to a spelling bee. I asked everyone to go into the garden this morning to help harvest the maize, they all went as happy as can be, we never have some that don't want to help or complain, they really are such a lovely family.
"So now at 10.30 the harvest is in, it is time for a well deserved cold drink and a snack!"

Monday, 29 August 2011

Vitamin express

With more parcels from you arriving at the Happy House our supply of vitamins - all 33,000 doses - are almost all there now.
The children's multi-vitamins, donated to us by the manufacturers last autumn, have been arriving throughout the year, kindly delivered by people visiting or sent out in parcels by other generous supporters. By the end of next month every bottle will be safely in store at the Happy House.
The vitamins have made an enormous difference to our children's health. Their eyes are brighter, skins clearer and hair stronger. After arriving with us malnourished and in a poor state, our kids are now strong and healthy with huge appetites!
Thank you to everyone who has helped get these vitamins to us and for the many other necessities and gifts you send for our children.
If you are sending parcels out for Christmas please make sure you mark them as such .. and they will be kept aside for Santa's stash.
So once again, thank YOU. We cannot say it too often or too loudly. You are such a special part of our family and your kindness means so much.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Warm welcome

Mama Sue and Papa Dave were delighted to welcome Andrew and Rebecca Sturdy and their children, George and India, back to the Happy House.
The Sturdy family, from Kent, are regular visitors to Watamu and have become very good friends of our family.
They joined weekly Kidz Club and later George and india taught our kids how to play rounders while they our children taught them some of their traditional playground games.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Open wide, Lucinda

With a family of 54 children there's always someone needing a trip to the doctor or the dentist.
And yesterday, Mama Sue and Papa Dave took five of our kids for a visit to the dentist, which meant extractions for some.
In safe hands, they went in smiling and even after a bit of uncertainty and a little pain came out smiling afterwards too.
Sue says: "The kids were so good, and all looked so smart and proud in their Happy House Tee shirts. 
 ice cream afterwards always helps!
"The extractions are mainly because over overcrowding," she adds.
We would never skimp on healthcare for our children but with every trip the costs mount up. Janet has to have four teeth extracted next week which will cost £20, another trip last week cost £20 and yesterday's took another hefty bite at our budget.
Thankfully, nurse Jill Armstrong and her teacher husband, Mick, set up a medical fund kindly which helps towards some of these costs, but if you ever want to make an extra one-off donation anything towards medical costs would be a bonus boost for us.
The monthly amounts we receive in child sponsorship are certainly helping to underpin our running costs, but we are still a long way off our aim of achieving sponsor families of five for each of our children.
Those of us who sponsor know  what joy having a Happy House child sponsor child brings into your life, and I can assure you that you are every bit as special to your child! So please, please tell your friends and encourage them, if you can, to join our very special family.
If anyone would like details of how to donate or sponsor please email or call 07905 130 589

Friday, 26 August 2011

A taste of Spain

With the Happy House nestling on the edge of one of the world's most beautiful holiday resorts we get visitors of many different nationalities, which helps to widen our children horizons on the world.
And now there will be a real flavour of Spain, thanks to Luis Zalaya, Maria Marin Lanza, Isabel Garate Otir and Robert Gallardo Colldo.
Luis, who had been living in Glasgow and is soon to move to Liverpool, had discovered our website and emailed Sue prior to their holiday to ask her if there was anything they could take for the kids.
They arrived this week loaded up with goodies including some lovely clothes plus books, pencils, castanets, maracas and, all importantly, Spanish onion seeds for Papa Dave!
A huge thank you goes to all of them from all the family is very special for us to be on the receiving end of such kindness. 

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Here's lookin' at you, kid!

Hello flower, when did you get to grower taller than me?
Seemingly overnight the sunflowers have shot up and there's a look of amazement on Sauma's face as she discovers her favourite flower has suddenly outstripped her.
With tender loving care our plants, like our kids, just keep on growing, and, with every centimetre, they take our children (and our gardeners) on a magical voyage of discovery.
When Kelvin , watering the border outside Sue's office, sees Sauma is he asks her to lend a hand and she  takes over to give our smiley sunflowers a welcome drink.
Not too much, Sauma, or you'll be needing a rope ladder tomorrow!
*The sunflower seeds, like many others, were among packets kindly sent out by friends in the UKin a response to an appeal this summer. Now is a great time to look for end-of-summer sale seed bargains (vegetables and flowers) which we would be only too happy to receive ... and they are light to post out too.
So if you would like to send some the address is: Sue Hayward's Happy house, PO Box 796, Watamu, Kenya, East Africa.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

For what we receive ...

Every parent knows that kids need a good breakfast to kick-start their little bodies and brains  and our kids are always ready to tuck in to their first meal of their day.
But as you look at these pictures think back to how it was for our older kids, most of whom have come to us frightened, poorly and hungry, not knowing,from one day to the next, if or when they would eat,  but acutely aware of the painful ache of an empty belly.
Now in our family they are happy, healthy and well nourished.... "growing like weeds" Sue says.
It is  because of her dedication and devotion, and your support, that our children need no longer live with hunger and fear.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Baby love

It was love at first sight when these Happy House visitors set eyes on our beautiful babies.
Staying at Turtle Bay Beach Club, Jackie and Peter Manzi, who live in Dubai,  called in to take a look round along with their family Ann and Charlotte and Hayley and Kaithlyn Johns.
Rose was delighted to show them around and says: "The girls fell in love with the babies and they were so thrilled with the work we are all doing."
We are delighted to welcome their family to the sponsor families of our twins Jonathan and James.


Monday, 22 August 2011

Walking out

It's time for a walk and Peninah links hands with Brian to take a stroll, but it's not long before their little legs need a rest and they clamber up on a chair together.

And that's a good time to hatch a plan, an escape to the great outdoors, but with housemums ever-watchful their bid for freedom is thwarted so they amuse themselves by watching their older brothers and sisters at play, oblivous to the fact that a certain someone is about to come between them... until Harry pops up to share the view.

And that's all very fine until Peninah spots Auntie Rose with the camera, then a girl has to do what a girl has to do and elbow the boys aside to steal the show all for herself!

Linking up

Blackpool's award winning cafe bar and restaurant, ToasT, has been very kindly helping to raise awareness for the Happy House since Sue and Elizabeth met Mike Gibson from there in the spring and it now has this link to the Happy House on its website
Thank you Mike.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Birthday girl

Happy birthday to Maria who celebrated her birthday with all the family at Happy House Kidz Klub.
Mama Sue handed over her birthday gift ... but there's no clue to what was inside. Bet, it was something special for our lovely Maria.
Looks like Natasha sneaked up to take the first peep!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Miles for smiles

Friends Mike Jennison and Amanda Dotch are in training to walk 24 miles witha target of £500 sponsorship for our Happy House.
Mike, who hopes to visit Watamu next year, lives in the North East and he and Amanda have been pounding the pavements in training with walks of up to 15 miles a time, ready for their big step-out nn August 31.
If they reach their £500 target figure, the firm Mike works for, Beaverbrooks, will match that making it up to a total of £1,000.
So if you find yourselves flagging,  Mike and Amanda, just hold the picture of our kids in your heads and you'll find those miles powered by their smiles.
Good luck and a huge thank you to you both.

Friday, 19 August 2011

A favourite place

Visiting the Happy House was one of the highlights of their honeymoon for newlyweds Emma and Richard Hales.
Emma, who has been in touch since returning home and is planning to send a parcel to our family, says:
 "We came to Watamu on our honeymoon from the West Midlands.
We wanted to get out and about when in Kenya so we had a good look at the Turtle Bay website and I found a link to the Happy House.
It may sound silly but I knew Sue would be lovely before I even met her! The blog had a lovely feel to it & the children looked so happy.
The Happy House is fantastically run, is bright and fun and the children are so happy and well cared for. The staff are so friendly too and were more than happy to show us round.
Visiting the Happy House one of our favourite parts of our honeymoon...and I think my husband might of smuggled Harry out in the tuk tuk with us given chance!"

Thursday, 18 August 2011

What a lot we got ...

Papa Dave never knows what will be waiting for him when he calls into the Post Office to collect the Happy House mail.
And from the looks of things it was parcels galore!
You are all so generous to our family, sending much need items as well as gifts of things we could never buy in Kenya.
As you know, we want to keep our kids firmly grounded and make sure that they are not spoilt by having too many gifts at any one time, so if you have sent more than one item for your sponsor child some may be kept in store ready for birthday or Christmas.
We are a long way off having out full quota of sponsors (our aim is to build sponsor families of five for each child) so we always need things in stock for children who are not yet sponsored. As in any family, we try to be scrupulously fair to ensure that no one should ever feel left out.
We are still appealing for Christmas gifts so Santa has enough for every child, so please add a Happy House child to your Christmas list. If you get your gift posted in the next couple of months it will be there in plenty of time for a Santa stocktake!
The address is Sue Hayward's Happy House, PO Box 796, Watamu, Kenya, East Africa.
Thank you all for being so very kind ... you only have to look at the kids smiles to know how happy you make them.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Young singer's debut CD for Happy House

Blackpool's wonderfully talented Melissa Miles has launched her debut-four track EP, Missa, with all the money raised going to the Happy House. 
Rising start Melissa, winner Blackpool High Schools' Pop Idol 2011, sold the very first copies when she appeared in an all-celebrity line-up at The Secret Garden Party.
Melissa,12, who performs under the stage name Missa is hoping to net £400 from sales of the limited edition album for the Happy House ... where her family sponsor Maria, who Melissa thinks of as her "Happy House sister".
Melissa became the youngest winner of High School's Pop Idol title when she triumphed in the 2011 contest in March. A pupil at St George's High School, she entered right at the last minute .. without any time for rehearsals.
"She absolutely loves to sing and has so much fun when she's on stage it's lovely to see.  The talent just comes from within," said proud mum Karen.
As a finalist in the Big One Talent Contest, Missa was invited to rub shoulders with A-lister and Britain's Got Talent judge David Hasselhoff at the opening of Pleasure Beach Blackpool's Nickelodeon Land.
The four tracks on her debut CD, recorded live,  are Run, Ave Maria, First Time I Ever Saw Your Face and Over the Rainbow.
Melissa, who has wowed audiences with her performance at several Happy House fundraisers,  has grown up surrounded by music. Her mum , who like Melissa, plays the flute and sings " a little"  and her dad, John, is dj at the Soul Suite, Blackpool.
Melissa and her little sister Lauren,10, love following the news from the Happy House and seeing what Maria is getting up to.
"I wanted all the money to go to the Happy House because I really love all the children there and I like to see what's happening on the blog, which sometimes makes me cry.
"It's very special and I hope I'll get to go there one day."
Melissa, you too, are a very special girl with a wonderful and generous talent. We are so touched that you should want to share it with us in this way... we know you are set for a fabulous career.
A huge thank you and lots of love and smiles are coming your way from Sue, Maria and all the Happy House family.
To get your copy of Missa (£4 +p&p) call 0771 101 5002  or email:
*You can listen to Over the Rainbow, set against a backdrop of stills from our wonderful Happy House, by following this link

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

How do I look in this?

Now then, what does any girl do when she gets a new dress? A bit of fashion parade, of course!
One-year-old Natasha was the lucky recipient of this colourful little number sent by Andrea Manders, a member of her sponsor family.
As soon as it was on she was strutting her stuff like the next Naomi Campbell proudly showing it off to anyone who would care to look.
But where were the specatators hiding?  Luckily when she toddled into the baby room she found Brian in his cot ...a captive, if not entirely captivated, audience!

Monday, 15 August 2011

The SECRET is success!

There's no longer anything to hide .... The Secret Garden Party lived up to all our expectations to be a fabulously fun day for everyone.
Organised and hosted by Scott J Marks, along with Lowri Williams, Jean Parkes, Sarah Petulengro, Lou Blackledge and  our own Lynn McCluskey and Elizabeth Gomm, the sell-out event was exactly what it promised a day-into-night party to beat them all.... with campers keeping the the action revved up until dawn!
There was a great line-up of entertainment throughout the day from top quality artistes including:

Leye D John who officially opened the event with Mal Ford, who worked tirelessly as compere; Angie Lang, David Wainwright, Laine Kennedy, comedian Mick Miller, Joe Little, Scott J Marks, Tracey Jordan, Missa, Diane Lynn, Hula hoop sensation Marawa, Nancy Langton, Ryan Cregan, DJs and andi Musson  for providing more music, Ryan Cregan, Vickee Lester, Rob Eagle, Katie Melling, Shaduows and Lady Gaga tribute Lisa Jones.

Children's entertainment, facepainting, a wishing tree, holistic therapies stalls and much more ensured an a fantastic day out for all the family.

Andrea Manders, who sponsors Natasha, ran the bottle stall helped by her daughter Ellena and Kathryn Pidcock, who with herr family also sponsors Natasha and Janet, came over from Doncaster to help them, camping with them for the night. The two families have become good friends all thanks to the Happy House!

The money is still coming in and we don't have a final total yet, but three charities be sharing the proceeds - our own Happy House, Parkinsons UK NW Holiday Fund and the Meningitis Trust.

Elizabeth answered lots of question from people wanting to know more about the Happy House and we certainly made some new friends.

Huge thanks to Scott and Robbie for hosting the event at their home and to everyone involved in any way at all with lots of love from all our Happy House family.

PS: A certain young talent launched her debut CD at the event, with all proceeds going to the Happy House. She will be getting the blog slot to herself on Wednesday!