Saturday, 31 October 2015

Six of the best, good news and Monday event

There was a bumper crop of birthdays to celebrate this week.And as usual each birthday child was congratulated and greeted when the family gathered for Kidz Club.
With Auntie Rose back from maternity leave after giving birth to baby Joanne, she had the honour of presenting gifts to five of the birthday kids - Lesley, Salama, Jedida, Francis and Jeremiah.
Uncle Billy made one of the presentations, to Francis' younger sister, Mwende,
All the children were delighted with their gifts,
Happy birthday kids.
Pictured are: left, Lesley; Above: Main pic: Salama, top from left,: Francis, Mwende; bottom: Jedida and Jeremiah

Good news for our coast

There has been Good news for the coast this week as the British Foreign Office has lifted its advice against all but essential travel to Malindi. 
Hopefully this will make it easier for travellers wanting to fly Nairobi-Malindi en route to Watamu, instead of having to travel via Mombasa.
We look forward to lots more visitors to Watamu as a result and to seeing more of the community back in work.
And, of course, we hope for many more visitors to our Happy House too.

Monday gathering

Nurse Jo Reid is hosting a Happy House evening at Spire Fylde Hospital, St Walburgas Road, Blackpool, on Monday evening from 6pm.
There will be prosecco and nibbles, plus a raffle with some lovely prizes. 
Elizabeth Gomm will be there to show a video and talk about how our founder Sue Hayward and her husband, Dave, have become Mama and Papa to a huge and happy family.
All money raised will be to buy groceries and supplies for our family which Jo and her husband Pete will buy on a local shopping trip while they are in Watamu in November.
Tickets for Monday evening, Nov 2, are £5 each from Jo

Friday, 30 October 2015

Awards and rewards for roomies

Good behaviour and teamwork bring rewards for our kids.
The Room of the Month Awards introduced a couple of months ago for the older children who share bedrooms upstairs, are proving very successful indeed.
Room captains, who are elected by their room-mates,  write reports daily in their room diary of any matters of concern (untidiness, bad behaviour etc). Mama and Uncle Ronald go through the diary every morning and talk to any children who may need encouragement to be more helpful or cooperative.
Uncle Ronald charts the progress of each room and end of each month, the winning rooms for boys' and girls' are are those with no points against them.
They are receive a trophy which they can keep for a month and are rewarded with a treat.
This month's winners, announced this week,  are the rooms  are captained by Rose Chai and  Derrick.
Mama asked them to choose their reward - a trip out for pizza, or a visit to Mama and Papa's house for a swim followed by hot dogs.
"There was no contest, " said Mama "everyone want to come to Mama and Papa's, so Papa's bought the sausages and they'll all be coming  to us on Saturday!"
The winning girls are Sidi, Khadija, Rose, Janet, Mariam and Pendo and the winning boys are Derrick, Harrison, Samson, Sulieman, Sifa, John and Hassan.
Uncle Ronald is pictured presenting the trophies to the very happy kids.
Well done everyone.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Rukia's Bury Aunties

Bury Soroptimists and our charity go back all the way to 2008 when Mama Sue received the Lancashire Woman of the Year Award for her work with children in Watamu.
That was two months before building work began on our Happy House and two years before it opened.
The Bury ladies have been in Rukia's sponsor family since the day she arrived in March 2010 and enjoy watching her grow and blossom.
To Rukia and all of us in the family they are the "Bury Aunties". Each month. one of her Lancashire aunties sends her a postcard or card for her memory box and to let her know that they care.
So it was with pleasure that Elizabeth went over to see our old friends and to join the for lunch at the Red Hall Hotel on Tuesday.
There was a chance for them to catch up on all our news and to watch our latest video which they just loved.
Elizabeth also put together a slideshow of pictures of Rukia over the last five years.
The generous ladies handed over three bags of clothing bought when they held a £3 Happy House challenge during the summer sales.
They also added £110 to our Building a Bright Future Appeal with purchases of Happy House bags and beaded bracelets.
Thank you ladies for a lovely day.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

School report: Taking stock

Teachers in Happy House school have been busy preparing a merit list after the mid-term examinations.
Mr Allan tell us that exams were done by all children from kindergarten to primary school Class Eight.
Once the exams are over and marked, there is time to take stock and  a programme of revision is put into place.
This  is organised in groups in each class, with an aim of ensuring that every student can freely participate in discussion. 
This we believe creates room for improvement and helps childern toward achieving their set targets. 
Pictures show two post-exam revision groups: 
 Top:Class seven with Mr. Isaac and bottom picture, Class eight with Mr Khamis 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Keeping busy!

If you read Derrick and Sifa's blogs on Sunday you will know how much our kids love the Saturday morning activities.
They really enjoy helping around the house and garden, with guidance from teacher and and uncles and aunties.
This weekend groups were busy ironing, gardening,cleaning washing the walls and windows. 
Those washing the walls were with Uncle Robert and later in the morning Papa joined them as well. 
The walls are being washed down ready for painting which will start shortly.
Happy House is like the Forth Bridge, keeping on top of maintenance is a never ending job!

Monday, 26 October 2015

Weekend takes our appeal to £17,000

 Our  £25,000 Building Bright Future Appeal hit £17,000 this weekend!
And that takes us even closer to finishing and opening our secondary school ready for its first students in January.
A £800 personal donation, and money donated by ladies in Garstang, and raised on our stall, run by Pauline Royle and Elizabeth Gomm, at the Off the Rails event at Marsh Mill Village, Thornton, yesterday too us to this latest landmark
So many are helping, the event at Marsh Mill has and is bringing in more thanks to Caroline Bramhall, who is in Victoria's sponsor family, who organised the event who is also making us her charity for the big Christmas Market there on November 29.
The all day Off the rails clothes sale was a fun day with some fabulous stallholders, some who braved the cold to market their pre-loved bargains.
 It was a special weekend as the Mill had it sails turning to mark its 221st birthday, and their was a walkabout in full Georgian dress to represent the man who built it, Ralph Slater,  his family and the landowner who commissioned it.
They were fascinated by the Happy House and the good work being done in the "colonies"!
Lytham Coffee donated coffee for stallholders and Rustic to Regal deli were keeping everyone fuelled  and will be making a donation to the appeal.

Well done Grace

Grace Dunbar, from Wantage, has brought in £256 in sponsorship from the Great South Run which she completed yesterday in 1hr 45 minutes, sadly her sister, Chloe, who should have been running with her could only watch proudly with the rest of the family fan club, as she had to drop our because of injury.
Well done Grace, and many, many thanks. That hug from your proud mum. Paula, at the end was well deserved!

 International night in Garstang

Elizabeth Gomm was the guest speaker at Garstang Inner Wheel International evening at Garstang Country Club on Thursday.
Ladies from other club including Padiham, Thornton Cleveleys, North Fylde and Lancaster, joined Garstang members for the evening  which started with a delicious meal.
Then Elizabeth talked to them about how our magnificent Mama Sue had started the charity and brought it so far, helping so many children.
Elizabeth raised £65 in the sale of Happy House bags and donations, and money raised by the raffle and sales table on the evening will be forwarded at a later date.
Thank you to everyone who has helped in any way over the weekend, to everyone who has donated, and to all those who have brought us so far since our appeal went out in August.
Children for many, many, years to come will have a bright future because of your kindness.
If you would like to help us open our HappY House secondary school please make a donation by going to

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Busy Saturdays by Derrick and Sifa

Saturday morning are always buzzing with activity at Happy House as two of kids tell us:
Derrick, 15, writes:
On Saturdays our teachers normally come home and  divide us into different activities such as laundry, garden, football academy, cleaning and baking.
On this Saturday. we were divided  according to our classes. Class 1 combined with class 7 to work in the garden and others were helping clean in the house.
 Class Eight went to the reading room to continue with their lessons with Teacher Milka. We enjoy doing the activities very much and we thank mama for letting the teachers to come on Saturdays, and we are cooperating with them.
Sifa,16, adds:
On every Saturday we have different activities which we Happy House family enjoy doing. 
The teachers come  in the morning to help us to do the activities.
We do football academy, netball, volley ball, dancing and cooking.
I like Saturdays.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Birthday boy and weekend events

Happiness is a first birthday!
Little Stephen Karisa may be four but, for the very first time, he is discovering that birthdays can be special.
At kidz club everyone sang birthday greetings to little Steve, who joined our family earlier this year,  and when Uncle Billy presented him with his bag of gifts, he couldn't wait to see inside!
Happy birthday, Steve.

Go Grace!

Good luck for tomorrow to Grace Dunbar 
who will be flying the Happy House flag when she takes part in the Great South Run in Portsmouth.

Grace, who volunteered at Happy House this summer, is raising money for our Building a Bright Future appeal to finish, furnish, resource and staff our secondary school by January. Grace who is going it also as her sister, Chloe Groves, had to drop out injured, already has £245 in sponsorship. 
You can help keep her going by making a donation at:

 We're going Off the Rails

Tomorrow fashion will be driving the sails at Marsh Mill Shopping Village, Thornton Cleveleys, when Caroline Bramhall and her businesses, Grace & Favour and the Sewing Sanctuary and Blossom Boutique, host Off the Rails for Happy House - which is bringing together lots of ladies who want to make some cash selling their pre-loved clothes and accessories. 
It starts at 9am and will be worth a visit with lots of lovely new-to-you bargains up for grabs.
The indoor event is supporting our Building a Bright Future  Appeal.  You must provide your own rail or table and spaces, £10 each,  which must be pre-booked and paid for , can be reserved by going to

Friday, 23 October 2015

Friendly fellowship

The Ladies Fellowship at Church Road Methodist Church, St Annes, were joined by the fellowship from The Drive Methodist Church for a very happy Happy House afternoon.
Elizabeth went along to tell them about our family and how far we have come since Sue last spoke their some years ago - when her Happy House dream was still to be realised - one lady even had the original CD introducing the project to show for it!
They were very touched by stories of our children and full of admiration for all that Sue and her charity are achieving.
And when we do visit church organisations it is always very special to be remembered in their prayers.
The afternoon brought in a welcome £131 in donations and sales of bags and bracelets which has been added to our Building a Bright Future Appeal to finish, furnish, resource and staff our secondary school ready for opening in January.
Thank you ladies for your continued friendship.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Hello Mama, hello Papa ...

Our older children finish school much later than the little ones, but Mama tries to be around when they come home.
She loves to see their happy faces as they troop in through the gate, laughing or chatting to each other after a busy day.
They always make a beeline for Mama's office window so they can greet her and Papa, on their way to into the house to get changed.
It is these family times that mean so much and make happy memories for our kids One day they will look back and tell their own children: "Mama and Papa were always there!"
Please help us to finish, furnish and open our Happy House Secondary School in January, ready for its first intake of students, by supporting our Building a Bright Future Appeal.
Maybe you could hold a fundraiser with your friends, take part in a sponsored challenge or , if you can, make a donation.
You can do this online at

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

School Report: Top performance

Class eight are showing how hard works pays off.
Studying hard for their upcoming Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination, the results of their most recent school exams won them the top class award in upper primary.
In lower primary Class 2 gave the best performance.
Happy House was happy to host an exchange programme day with Joy Academy for classes three and four, Happy House scored the most marks in each activity.
Mama Sue and Uncle Billy were guests at the weekly guiding and counselling session, inspiring pupils with their words. 
There have been more exams with classes 6,7 and 8 taking part in the sub-county exams, competing with more than 20 schools in Malindi area. 

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Bringing in funds for a Bright Future

We were delighted that our friends in Flyde Soroptimist International invited Happy House to be a part of their autumn fair in Lytham on Saturday.
It was held at the fantastic EcoPod at Park View Playingfields, and we had a stall selling a variety of things included some beautiful handicrafts made by Andrea Manders, who is in Natasha Thoya's sponsor family, and by a kind friend Barbara Hall.
We made some new friends over the day and raised £65 for our funds.
Sadly nobody guessed the correct name of our teddy, donated by Property Scene, so we are keeping them on the list so they are still in with a chance next time.
Thank you to Susan Smith, Soroptimist's president, for inviting us. We hope the event was a big success for you and your charities. Pictures courtesy of Fylde Fairtrade.
Our £65 has been added to our Building a Bright Future Appeal ... which now stands at more than £16,000.
Finishing, furnishing, resourcing and staffing our secondary school by January will cost a total of £25,000 so we are well on the way
You can follow our progress and make a donation at
Chloe & Grace
On Sunday, in Portsmouth, Grace Dunbar will be taking part in the Great South Run to raise money for our appeal.
Student Grace, who volunteered at Happy House this year, should have been running with her sister Chloe Groves but because Chloe is recovering from an injury, she is going it alone.
Chloe, who is in Said's sponsor family, will be there to cheer Grace on and both will be wearing the Happy House running vests they have had custom printed.
Grace and Chloe, both from Wantage, have been involved in helping Happy House since the beginning after hearing about it from their grandparents Red and Brenda, and are lucky enough to have visited it too.
Good luck Grace!
If you would like to give Grace a good start, you can sponsor her at:
Also on Sunday, Marsh Mill Shopping Village, Thornton, Lancs,  will be the hosting Off the Rails for Happy House .
Caroline Bramhall, owner of Grace & Favour and the Sewing Sanctuary, and Blossom Boutique, has organised the event where people have been invited to book a space and take their own rail or table along to sell their pre-loved fashion items. Stallholders, who must book in advance, will keep what they raise, but rents will come to our appeal.  It's building up to be a big, all-day fashion fiesta, make it a weekend must-do!
 There will be more details later in the week.
Rustic to Regal deli will be on hand with pre-ordered and on the day meals and nibbles, with a donation from the day's dinner sales to Happy House.
Watch out for more details later in the week.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Surprise, surprise Mama!

 It's usually Mama who springs surprises ... but on Saturday the tables were turned.
As her birthday on Friday was school days, the family plotted to make an occasion of the event on Saturday.
So when she arrived for normal Saturday morning activities everyone was ready and waiting to give her the biggest birthday welcome.
They all joined in Happy Birthday for Mama before starting their programme of entertainment much to her delight including songs, music and dance.
Dennis and Kezia were the party organisers and kept everything running smoothly.
Auntie Phyllis baked and decorated a beautiful cake which was enjoyed by all.
The morning came to an end with Mama and Papa saying a few words.
It was a lovely family morning for a Mama who is is loved so very, very, much.
On Friday, our Mama thought everyone had forgotten her special day after she had arrived and settled in for a busy day without more than the usual daily greeting.
Then Uncle Billy told her she was needed by one of the aunties and when she went to see what was wrong, all the staff on duty were waiting,with flowers, to wish her a happy birthday

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Three junior bloggers bring you their news

My name is Ushindi, I am eight.
In class I am number three. My results were: Maths 100, English 92, Kiswahili 98,  Social 98, Science 8,  Reading 100, Kusoma 100. 
I am a clever boy.
My teacher help me to read and write.  I love my teacher very much.

Enjoying school, by Margaret

 In my exam was position three with 372 marks. In previous exams that we did  I managed to be number 5 but know I have gone up in my position thanks to the wonderful teachers we have. 
Through listening and reading our notes, I have now increased  my marks and I am happy about myself.
Our lessons are very good and interesting. I really enjoy the school and  all the lessons

A pizza treat, by Victoria

My name  is Victoria. I am 13 years old.
Recently we had a trip for all those who had been well behaved in the upstairs bedrooms.
We went to Marina's restaurant with Mama Sue, Papa Dave, Uncle Billy, Uncle Ronald and Aunty Gloria. 
We left Happy House at 11.30a.m,  when we arrived we had a cold juice.
Then we ate pizza and chips which was delicious.  After that we rested  and then we went back to home.
When we reached home, we found Aunty Phyllis was serving ice cream to all those at home and we were able to join in.
We thanked Mama Sue for our trip.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Birthday kids, special guests and Fabulous Fleetwood friends

Allan and Linda Young, who are neighbours of Mama and Papa when they visit Watamu, did the honours of presenting birthday gifts at KIdz Club.
Birthday children, this week, are (from left): Steve, Samson and Thomas.
Linda and Allan, who live in Portsmouth, also visited last Saturday when they enjoyed entertainment by our talented children - line dancing, belly dancing, Indian dancing and singing. 
Then there was a chance for everyone to get up and dance, with  Mama and Papa leading the way!
It was a really fun time for all the family.
Thank you Allan and Linda for coming to see us.

Fabulous Fleetwood

Our Happy House family made some fabulous new friends yesterday.
Elizabeth Gomm, our family's Auntie Libby, went along to the Guild meeting at St David's Church, Fleetwood, to tell them the story of Sue and our charity.
And they really took our children to their hearts and donations, with the sale of some of our bags and bracelets, totalled am amazing £206.20. 
Thank you everyone for being such a brilliant audience and for making Libby feel so at home. Every penny you donated will go to finishing, furnishing and staffing our secondary school which we will be opening in January.
Together we can change lives.

Lytham Fair

Today there will be a Happy House fundraising and awareness stall at an autumn fair, hosted by Fylde Soroptimists at the new Eco Pod, at Queen Elizabeth II Park View Playingfields, Park View Road, Lytham, Lancs, from 11am -3pm. Please pop in and say hello, you will be supporting some fantastic charities - including our own!

Friday, 16 October 2015

Happy birthday, Mama

Happy birthday marvellous Mama!
Today is Mama Sue's birthday and this year she is able to celebrate it where she belongs - with her children, all 108 of them.
Last year, Sue was back here in the UK coming to the end of  a three-month enforced stay while her recovery from a badly broken leg was monitored by the brilliant orthopaedic surgeon Steve Mannion.
So today, Mama it is our  greeat pleasure to send you lots of love on your birthday, and our thanks for the family you have created and given us the privilege to be a part of.
We know that being with Papa, your kids and all the family is the best gift you could have.
Have a brilliant day.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

" So much love and kindness here" says volunteer Eva

Eva Huguenin Elie is now coming to the end of the first of five months volunteering with our family at the Happy House.
And Eva, from Switzerland, is discovering that there is much more to home than she could have expected.
Today Eva, who is assisting with French lessons in school,  shares some of what she has experienced
Happy House is more than a simply a children's home. The aim of  Mama Sue, Papa David and all the staff is to give to the children a decent place to live and to grow up in the best way. 
Moreover, they offer them a good education to enable them become responsible and useful people. In short, to have a bright future.
They are truly one big family. Every member of staff thinks about the wellbeing of each individual child. 
There is so much love and kindness here!
It couldn’t be a better place for them to grow. The older ones help the small ones as brothers and sisters. How touching it is to see them happy and smiling!   
Since I came here, everybody has been so kind with me. I feel so happy to be here and to bring some help.
 It is joyful to see how interesting and hard-working the children are when I teach them French.          
 At school, all children wear uniform. I think that it is a very good idea. 
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, it is black trousers (or skirts for girls) with a red shirt. On Tuesday and Thursday it is black trousers with a coloured tee-shirt with the Happy House’s logo. 
Uniform is a good way to erase social inequality between the students. It shows that everybody is equal and can succeed.
I have noticed that the children know how lucky they are to benefit from such a good education, consequently they are hard-working and very curious about new things. They like to learn new languages like Italian or French.
It is very motivating.
I really enjoy teaching and seeing the children make progress. I would like to thank Happy House for the confidence you have given to me.   
If you can make a donation to help us to finish, furnish, resource and staff our Happy House Secondary School ready for opening January, we would be so grateful.
A flyer which you can print out and share with your friends is included here (left), or contact Elizabeth if you would like any further information by email at
You will be helping to change young lives forever. To make a donation please send a cheque, made out to Happy House, to Elizabeth Gomm, 6 Burwood Drive, Blackpool, FY3 8NS or donate online at 

Prizes please!

Our Building a Bright Future Appeal will benefit from the Christmas Market at Marsh Mill Shopping Village, Thornton, Lancashire, on Sunday, November 29. It's a bumper event which will draw crowds of people so we are thrilled to be a part of it.
We have been asked to help gather bottles (from ketchup to Kirsch!) for a bottle tombola and raffle prizes. If you could help by providing a prize please contact Elizabeth  -

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

School Report: Prayers of thanks

 Thankful for being in school, our Year Eight pupils led prayers and worship for the primary school.
Madam Sara reports:
The students, who are Happy House kids or on scholarship places, are studying hard for their coming examinations and looking forward to going into our secondary school.
So with these being their last weeks in  in  primary school their message to others was both inspiring and touching.
Kg 3 and  Kg 2 pupils  had a lesson in physical science, investigating what materials float and what sinks!
It was great fun and everyone enjoyed it. 
Volunteer, Auntie Coral led storytelling with KG3 with the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff,  After listening to the story they then acted it out to everyone's delight.
If you can make a donation to help us to finish, furnish, resource and staff our Happy House Secondary School ready for opening January, we would be so grateful. You will be helping to change young lives forever. To make a donation please send a cheque, made out to Happy House, to Elizabeth Gomm, 6 Burwood Drive, Blackpool, FY3 8NS or to donate online please go to:

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Secondary school appeal reaches a landmark- video

 In just 10 weeks our Happy House Building a Bright Future £25,000 appeal has passed a landmark £15,000 to guarantee that building work will be completed.
Your donations and fundraising efforts have brought us to a current total of £15,463.22, a phenomenal amount which not only builds our school, but also builds hopes, dreams and optimism.
We had been forced to stop the build when we ran out of money, but thanks to your response to our appeal set up in August,  builders started work again at the beginning of September and they have not stopped.
As the money flows in our school gets nearer to completion.
Seeing the build happening has given a new optimism and impetus to the Year 8 students who are working so hard for their Kenya Certificate of Primary Educations exams in November.
They will be the school's first intake in January.
They are kids, living in our Happy House family or on free places in our school,  who came to us from backgrounds of loss and despair.
They had nothing, not even hope.
Now they have can the past behind them and look forward to a bright future with a secure and quality education which will open doors of opportunity to them as they go through life.
These are kids who love school.
They work hard. They WANT to be educated. 
Thanks to Mama Sue who created the Happy House and to each and every one of you who support and believe in her vision, they WILL be.
This £15,000 landmark secures the build, but another £10,000 is needed to open it in January. 
We need to make desks, chairs, cupboards etc; to buy text books and other resources like laboratory equipment, and to pay teachers.
With all free place students, there will be no income from fees.
We know you will help to make it happen.
 Our friends in the UK and mainland Europe have, and are, taking up sponsored challenges (including sponsored walks, runs, triathlon, and even giving up chocolate!), organising events from pre-loved clothes sales to coffee mornings, and we will benefit a community event at Marsh Mill Shopping Village, Thornton Cleveleys, when it hosts a Christmas market.
We are blessed with wonderful friends, who share our belief that every child deserves to be loved, safe, nourished and educated.
Your love and support gives us confidence ... all things are possible.
To make a donation go to: or for more information please email

Monday, 12 October 2015

Growing healthy crops ... and kids

 There has been much more rain than usual in the last few months which means our gardens are greener.
And with healthy gardens, we also have an entire Happy House family of kids thriving on the abundance of fresh crops, writes Uncle Ronald.
"Green kale, green cow peas, green spinach, green tomato plants - in short almost everything now in our garden is green.
Uncle Ronald writes: "Our kids are now enjoying fresh vegetables from the garden. 
"Uncle Chris, our gardener is working hard to maintain the green nature of it.
Seeds of hope
"All greenhouses are fully occupied, some with vegetables ready to be harvested and others having recently transplanted seedlings, many grown from the seeds you have been so kind as to send.
"The aim is to maintain a consistent harvest as planting and harvesting are done rotationally.
"Other vegetables were planted on open fields to produce surplus supplies to the kitchen. It’s so lovely to see the green nature of our garden.
"Thank you to everyone who helped in one way or the other to make our garden flourish."