Monday, 31 October 2011

Sending out our message ,,,

Virtuoso guitarist Jon Gomm today releases his second download-only single ... a cover of Message in a Bottle by The Police.... again with 10% of the proceeds going to the Happy House.
Jon gave a taster of his take on the '70s classic to a packed house at Leeds Guitar Night on Saturday and it went down a storm.
After electrifying the place with his fast-paced and incredible set, he was only too chuffed to swap his signature black tee shirt for one his mum brought back from the Happy House.  Jon is also taking Happy House promo leaflets to all his gigs to help us promote our charity.

Jon says: "It's one month since my first ever single Passionflower was released, and it's so far been watched over 45,000 times on youtube and played on radio stations on 3 continents! Thankyou/grazie/merci/danke/gracias to EVERYONE who watched it and - most importantly - told their friends about it.The second single - my interpretation of Message In A Bottle by The Police - is out today. Watch on YouTube:
You can download the mp3 right now from for Pay What You Want  . 10% the proceeds from all  downloads in the Domestic Science Singles Series goes to The Happy House children's home in Watamu, Kenya.The guitar tab is available from my website too.
I hope you enjoy the song and sharing it with your friends. You know there's more to music than what gets played on pop radio, but maybe some of your friends don't realise there's more out there. "
Remaining concerts for 2011 will take Jon to:- ITALY: Roma, Firenze, Bologna, Pavia, Milano. ENGLAND: Blackpool, Portsmouth, Southampton, Maidstone, Lymington, Sarratt, Milton Keynes, Wakefield, Liverpool, Macclesfield. GERMANY: Dresden, Straubing, Schwabach, Nuernberg, Giessen, Trittau
Time for tee...
Grab yourself a Happy House tee-shirt (£6+£2 p&p). We have adult size Medium (that's what Jon's wearing), plus ages 3 and 4. Other children's sizes available after December 10. Contact for details of how to order.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Each to their own

When you have had nothing, even the smallest things become treasures.
That's why we see it as so important for each of our own children to have their own possessions. Unlike many other children's homes in Africa where all clothes are kept in a pile in a dormitory - making it first-up-best-dressed - our kids have their own clothes, kept in their own lockers.
Of course it is essential for health reasons that they also have their own toothbrushes, face cloths and combs.
And every comb is labelled to ensure there's no mistaking which one belongs to whom.
This time the job of making labels fell to Auntie Violet, but as you can see she wasn't short of helpers!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Bag a bargain

If you would like to snap up a bargain to help give a festive feel to Christmas for our Happy House kids, Aldi will tomorrow (Sunday) have Christmas gift bags in store at 99p for 2 or 3 bags depending on size.  We hope to have enough bags for each of our children to save on the time and paper required for wrapping. Every child will be receiving some new clothes and a couple of other small gifts when Santa makes his delivery.
If you do buy bags they can be posted to Sue Hayward's Happy House, PO Box 796, Watamu, Kenya.
Every one will be received with our love and thanks.

Family valued

It is wonderful to be a part of a family that means so much to so many people around the world.
Wherever we may live, whatever our circumstances, we are united by a common bond ... our Happy House kids.
Those sponsors who are lucky enough travel thousands of miles to meet the child they sponsor and who has become such an important part of their lives.
Linda and Peter Niblock, from Hulme, Cheshire, have just returned from their first visit to meet Evans.
Linda tells me: "I recognised Evans as soon as he came through the gate from school on his bike, it was lovely seeing the older kids getting back from school, all smiles, looking as though they didn't have a care in the world, which is how it should be.
"It was really great to meet Evans and to be able to chat with him and his brother and sister, Oscar and Janet.
"Evans was so proud of his latest exam results, he's top of the class and was really proud to show us his report book."
Linda and Peter, who won their week's stay at Tembo Village Hotel at our charity night last year, thoroughly enjoyed their first visit to Watamu.
"We had an amazing time both visiting the Happy House and visiting the village. It was good for us for a change to stay in a small hotel and not an all-inclusive resort hotel which gave us more opportunity to visit and spend time in the village talking to the local people, although it was a challenge at times to convince them we didn't want to buy anything! We had a lot of interesting tuk-tuk trips, avoiding potholes, goats, motorbikes and people! It was great.
"The Happy House is amazing, what Sue and Dave have achieved is truly inspirational.
"It was a big learning curve for us. When we're sat at home in our armchairs thinking about what they need, it isn't necessarily what they do actually need.
"It was an absolute privilege to be invited to the official opening of Little Chicks nursery, what little stars the children are. They did a little play and then all sang and then we all sang and danced our way round to the classrooms where the Italians, who had raised the money for the conversion. cuts the ribbons at each door to cheers from the children.
"Then back in the banda we all had a good old dance, some cake, and the children had lollies. Seeing the children so happy that afternoon is something we will never forget."
Time moves so quickly at the Happy House and it was soon time for Linda and Peter to leave for the UK.
"We were lucky that when we popped in on our last day it was a public holiday and Evans was at home from school so we could say our goodbyes.
"Sue's plans to extend the school sound great so there's a lot of fundraising to do and we'll do our best. I've been spreading the word!"

Friday, 28 October 2011

Garstang welcome

Thanks you to the ladies of Garstang Trefoil Guild who gave me such a warm welcome when I went to talk to them about the Happy House last night and for their club donation of £20, plus another £24.50 in personal donations.

Pennies from the Park

Sean Gallagher and his family at Parks Art Deco Cafe in Blackpool's Stanley Park are always so supportive of our Happy House and put a collection bucket on the bar for customers loose change.
I have just emptied and counted a very full bucket and all these bits of small change added up to a healthy £54.11 for our family.
Thank you so much to everyone at the cafe and to all those customers who contributed ... there's now an empty just waiting to be filled!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

A sprinking of stardust

(Pictured: Twins James and Jonathan)
“Babies are bits of stardust, blown from the hand of God”... this lovely quote sums up the true blessings each baby brings to its family.
And at the Happy House we have so many beautiful babies to love and look after.
From the their earliest days they start developing their own little personalities and, maybe, quirky characteristics.
(Our Natasha)
Only twins Peter and Paul pose a problem... they are seemingly identical making them almost impossible to tell apart!
As these pictures show every baby is cute, cuddly and utterly beautiful ...
Harry and Natasha

Peter (or Paul!)

Paul (or Peter!)


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Chicks settle in new nest

Our little chicks are settling down in their new classrooms in our Little Chicks nursery.
The kind Italians, who raised the money to convert the building, should be proud of their efforts which allowed us to convert the old chicken house into nursery classrooms making room, in turn, for our first primary classes to open upstairs.

Moving in day coincided with some really heavy rain but everyone just got on with the job in hand - nursery assistant Lydia improvising with a carrier bag as a rain hat!
The new classrooms are bright and air, the makuti thatch keeps everything cool, and the enclosed play space ensures no little chicks can wander away from the nest.
Our Italian friends with Mama Sue
The converted building has been so well received by everyone who has visited it - the Italians especially, but also with the district education officer who was astounded by what had been done.

It's all down to Sue, who never short on ideas, saw this as the quickest and cheapest solution to a problem which had to be solved straight away.

What a clever mother hen she is!
Our  baby class

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Tonight in Brighton

Don't forget if you are anywhere near Brighton pop along to a charity night tonight organised by Marc and Thalia Venturi.
All proceeds are for the Happy House and the event takes place at the The Master Mariner,Brighton Marina. Admission £5. there will be live music, raffles, tombola and snail racing.
Sound like a fun night and we wish Marc and Thalia a very successful evening. 
* Joe Venturi is picture with Musyoka and Benedict sporting Brighton Pier caps!

Mille ringraziamenti!

The kindness of others never ceases to touch our hearts at the Happy House.
Our friends around the world show their love and support for our family in so many ways and every single gesture of generosity is appreciated more than we can ever say.
Our most recent visitors are a group of Italians who when they visited earlier this year promised they would be raising money for us when they went home knowing that we needed to convert the former chicken house into our Little Chicks nursery school.
By moving some of our nursery classes into Little Chicks we are  able to open our first primary class.
So just imagine when how delighted Giancarlo Cariboni, Maurizo Ongania and Grigi Giuseppe were when they returned with the cheque to find the work almost completed.
Sue trusting they would be true to their word managed to divert some funds to get the work started as a interim emergency measure -  the education officer is insisting we move all our children up a class now, instead of in January, because their education is so advanced.
The lovely Italians, who live near Lake Como,  with the help of so many of their friends in from their village  raised the money with one big festival day when they cooked more than 400 meals .They were overjoyed to  hand over the proceeds to Sue and thrilled by what has been done with it.
And to celebrate Sue organised an official opening to celebrate their wonderful contribution.
"They arrived to us singing Welcome, they all came in the banda, then different children took each one by the hand and we went round to Little Chicks all singing Jambo, Jambo Bwana.
"We had put ribbons across the doors so they all had to cut a ribbon, to lots of clapping and cheering. They all had more than one tear in their eyes. We went back to the banda the children sang more songs and then recited Everything I need to Know.
"I had the bright idea of asking the mum of Malec, one of our pupils, who is an Italian,  to come and translate she was delighted, so that made it even better .
"Our cook Roger is excelling with his very creative cakes now, so a good time was had by all.
"It was a very happy occasion."
Many, many thanks to all our Italian friends for their wonderful fundraising effort and to everyone who supported them.
* See tomorrow's blog for more pictures of Little Chicks.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Food, glorious food

Providing a good diet is essential to our children's health... and just look how they like their food!
As you look through these pictures of our lovely kids displaying very healthy appetities just remember that every meal is a real blessing to each one.
When they came to us all were living with the constant ache of an empty tummy ... hunger, real hunger, was a way of life. They couldn't be sure where, or when, their next meal would come from.
It still takes time for every new arrival to understand that , yes, there will be another meal. Really, there will.
They still, for their first weeks, want to eat everything in sight. To stuff themselves to bursting point, until it dawns that mealtimes come round like clockwork, three times a day... with healthy snacks at school breaks, too.
A balanced diet (with occasional cake as a treat!), plus a daily dose of multi-vitamins, is turning poorly, malnourished children into sturdy kids with strong bones, hair and teeth, bright eyes and glowing skin.
Good food for a family of 53, even now with we have much of our veg coming straight from our gardens, mounts up to a huge bill every week, but we will never cut corners or skimp on what we provide. 
Our reward is the only thing we ask for .. healthy kids.
Pictured from top are: Musyoka, Karmebo,  Pendo Dickson, Brian, Rukia, Pendo Francis, Harry, Rose Safari and Sulieman,

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Our little hero

Our wounded soldier Francis has returned to a hero's welcome from his Happy House family after undergoing surgery on his broken arm at Tofiq Hospital, Malindi.
Fearless Francis leapt from a top bunk a few weeks ago and broke his arm which was x-rayed and set in plaster, but four weeks later when the cast came off a second x-ray revealed that all was not well.
His bones were out of place and not knitted together or healed correctly, so he had to go back for surgery to have his arm broken and re-alinged, a procedure which took about 25 minutes.
"After that", says Uncle Billy, he was wheeled to radiography for another x-ray, then to a ward as the doctors' observed his post-sedation reactions. Nothing worrying save for the nausea. Three hours later he was ready for home.
"He received a heroes welcome. A family meeting was quite in order to ask all the family members to help Francis in taking proper rest and in avoiding risky behaviour to speed a quick and successful recovery."
Get well, Francis, with lots of love from all your family beyond the Happy House.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Brighton rocks!

Our very good friends Marc and Thalia Venturi and their children Emma and Joe have been helping the Happy House since they first met Sue in 2007... and are holding their latest fundraiser on Tuesday.
 Marc said: "We saw the great work she had done with building a school and helping so many children and she inspired us with her vision to build the Happy House. We wanted to be a part of that and help as much as we possibly could."
 Since then they have raised thousands of pounds for the charity, enlisted much support from local people in Brighton, and have their event a Charity Night on  Tuesday (25/10) at The Master Mariner,Brighton Marina. Admission £5.
 Marc says"This will be our third charity night for the Happy House and we have live music, raffles, a tombola and snail racing! We have also held cake sales and sponsored walks to raise money. We have been supported by many businesses in Brighton including '', 'Brighton and Hove Radio Cabs' where I work as a driver, 'Wyevale Garden Centre', and 'Proporta' to name but a few. 'The King and Queen' and 'The Master Mariner' have also kindly let us use their function rooms free of charge for our charity nights.
Marc added: "As a family we have always wanted to help children in third world countries who are less fortunate than ourselves, however we never really knew how to go about it.
 "Meeting Sue has enabled us to make this possible and there is no better feeling knowing you have helped make a difference to a child's life. Raising money for the Happy House means we can see the difference first hand and the smiles on the children's faces! We look forward to seeing Sue and her husband Dave, Mama and Papa to the Happy House family, and all the kids next February."
 He adds that his son Joe, 11, a pupil at Cardinal Newman College has made many new friends at the Happy House.
"If anyone can help us to raise money in any way including cake sales at there workplace or donating prizes for the raffle or tombola at the charity night please contact me on or 07736071486."

Friday, 21 October 2011

And a lovely evening too ...

Another thank you to Gillian Hesketh who hosted a wonderful evening for friends at her home in Little Thornton last night to raise money for our for Happy House family and for the Dr David Cooper's new project, a Children's Hospice Play and Holiday Centre.
Gillian, who is such a fun personality, had conjured up a really delicious supper and invited some of her friends, who have their own small craft or fashion businesses, to set up stall in return for a donation to the charities.
Lynn and I had a lovely time talking to guests about our favourite subject, our Happy House kids, and we are sure that we made a lot of new friends last night.
Thank you to Gillian (second left) and everyone who helped her for making this such a splendid night.  And it also resulted in £170 donation to the Happy House which will go direct to supporting our children.
* Our second picture features Ruth Adler of Pashmina Ladies.

Happy morning

Thank you to the lovely ladies of Lytham who rallied round to help our children by supporting a coffee morning at the Easy Exercise Centre, Lytham, yesterday.
Daine Dibley had worked so hard to bring it all together and there were very generous donations of tombola prizes, raffle prizes and for the cake and produce stall.
It was a really happy morning and we'll tell you how much it has raised just as soon as all the money has been collected in and counted!
Thank you to everyone who made it happen.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Busy day

Today Elizabeth will be at a coffee morning for the Happy House hosted by the Easy Exercise Centre, Lytham from 9am to 2pm. There will be tombola, raffle and other stalls. All welcome.
This evening Elizabeth and Lynn will be at special fundraising being staged by Gillian Hesketh at her home in Thornton.
Thank you to The EE Centre and to Gillian for thinking of our family every penny will be used to help us give them the very best home and education we can.

Bags of help

Gift bags, like these received from one of our friends could solve our Christmas wrapping dilemma.
If we can get enough for each child to have one for their gifts, it would make life so much easier for Santa's little helpers.
If you would like to send some to our family the address is Sue Hayward's Happy House, PO Box 796, Watamu, Kenya.
And while I am appealing, yet again,  for your  help there are a couple of things Papa Dave has requested for the greenhouses ... pumpkin seeds and carrot seeds. They are light so shouldn't cost much to post and we know they they will grow well and go down well with the kids, too.
You always respond so generously to our appeals and want to say a big thank you for being so, so kind.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Thank you ladies

Thank you to the lovely members of Pilling Methodist Church Women Fellowship who gave Elizabeth such a warm welcome when she went to tell them all about our Happy House family.
They were a really attentive audience and so interested to hear about Sue's road to the Happy House and the children whose lives it is transforming.
They held a collection which raised £80 for our family. Thank you all so much for being so kind and generous.

From Austria with love ....

Ever-rising prices make doing the weekly household shop a real challenge for Papa Dave.
True to his native Yorkshire traits, Papa expects the best price for everything and is not afraid to haggle for a fair deal.
It is arduous and tiring, trekking around the market and wholesalers as he does in the immense heat. But he never complains.
This week the shopping came to him, in the form of a very generous donation from some of our Austrian friends.
Schwarz Helga Friedrich, Strauch Lotte Herbert, Montscher Otto, Macho Franz and Eschmuller Werner are frequent visitors to Watamu and they make a point of visiting the Happy House.
As on two previous occasions, these exceptionally kind gentlemen asked for a copy of our shopping list and then went out and bought everything on it!
From shoe polish to maize flour, nappies to washing powder, it was all there when they unloaded it to the amazement and delight of Mama Sue, Papa Dave and all the family.
Billy says: "We were dumbfounded and could only say thank you in return. Papa's shopping for Thursday has was done on a Monday morning! The list of things they brought seemed endless."
Their generosity is so touching and means so much to us and our family.
These big-hearted Austrians are so fond of Mama Sue and also presented her with a beautiful photo-book they made of pictures taken on their last visit which included our first anniversary show.