Monday, 30 November 2015

Jingle bells!

 There's snow business like snow business!
A Christmas Market at Marsh Mill Village, Thornton, Lancashire, yesterday embodied the season of goodwill with shoppers and traders braving winter storms to enjoy some festive fun and help raise money for Happy House.
The market, organised by Caroline Bramhall, who is in Victoria's sponsor family, and her daughter Hayley Anderton brought a winter wonderland to life with entertainment, stalls and delicious food.
A trade event, supporting Happy House,  stallholders were glad to be able to go indoors to take refuge from rain and high winds but as the day unflded the weather brightened up, just a little, for everyone of all ages, but especally the kids, to enjoy the musical and comic- character entertainment presented by Disco Inferno.
The climax of the day's events was the switch-on of the Christmas tree lights and the arrival of Santa - complete with a perfectly-timed snowstorm.
Throughout the day, Elizabeth Gomm, our UK coordinator, and Pauline Royle were there manning a Happy House stall which raised £200.91 - which included £50 from Guess the Name of the Elephant.
The elephant, crocheted by Pauline, was won by Jake McGrattan of Bispham who correctly chose the name Nguma.
Huge thanks to Caroline Bramhall, Phil Wolstencroft, Hayley Anderton, all to their amazing helpers and to everyone who took a stall or came along for your support.
Your love and generosity means so much, and will by helping us to open our secondary school change lives. 
We look forward to hearing how much was raised - every penny will make a difference, Thank you. 

Sunday, 29 November 2015

My wedding duty, by Francis

 Francis was one of the ring bearers for the wedding ceremony of Auntie Velma and Cleophas at Happy House earlier this month.
Here he writes about  the big day,
This is a blog about the wedding ceremony.
It was on aSaturday morning when everyone aas in the Banda .
Auntie Velma came into the banda and everyone was surprised and we
we all loved everything that she was wearing
Her husband Uncle Cleophas also came in .
Everyone cheered .
Salama and I were there ones who were going to give them their rings. Everyone was very happy.

Christmas Market

Happy House is the charity being supported by today's Christmas Market and Lights Switch-on  Marsh Mill Village, Thornton Cleveleys, so please come along and see us.
There will be lots of great trade and craft stalls, fabulous festive food, a visit from Santa and lots of entertainment.
It will go on whatever the weather, so wrap up warm, pop on your wellies and have some fun.
It runs from 11am to 6pm.   

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Cuppa kindness and Christmas market

Pauline, Susan and David
 There was something brewing in the seaside town of Cleveleys yesterday.
Friends gathered at the home of David and Susan Mitchell for a a get-together, hosted jointly with Pauline Royle, dubbed "Have a Brew of Watamu".Susan, Pauline and helpers were kept busy in the kitchen as more and more people arrived.
Business was brisk on the bring and buy stall, the book stall and on the Happy House stall.
And there was no shortage of people wanting to have a go at naming the elephant, crocheted by Pauline, with a list of the names of our children to choose from.
Elizabeth Gomm, our voluntary coordinator, was there will information about the Happy House.
Susan and David, who are in our little Neema's sponsor family, and Pauline, who is in the sponsor families of Jane and Derrick, were delighted that the afternoon resulted in raising £347.30 for our Building a Bright Future Appeal to finish and open our secondary school in January.
This brings the £25,000 appeal to £21,252.12.
Thank you David, Susan and Pauline for arranging such a lovely event, and thank you to everyone who came along to make it such a success.

The true spirit of Christmas

Join us tomorrow for a fabulous day of festive fun, shopping and food at Marsh Mill Christmas Market at Marsh Mill Shopping Village, Thornton Cleveleys
.The event,  which starts at 11am, is organised by Caroline Bramhall, owner of the Grace&Favour and the Sewing Sanctuary who has a very personal reason for choosing the Happy House as this year's charity.Caroline explains: "It's so easy amidst all the organising to forget the reasons for hosting this years Christmas market... so on the eve of the event I would like to share those reasons so that you know why we at Grace & Favour Fabrics and The Sewing Sanctuary find this the easiest and yet the hardest ever event  we have created.
 Lisa Holman  was an amazing lady, a colleague and friend and also an inspiration. Lisa was also known for her huge heart - her endless charity work and above all the quiet way in which she just got on with helping anyone at all - charity, friends, strangers.
Festive fun
I have heard so many lovely stories of acts of kindness and support involving Lisa. Whilst working together Lisa told me of the Happy House and of a young girl that she and her family supported. Lisa explained the vision of the Happy House and its achievements so far, the difference that it had made to so many vulnerable young lives, she asked if we could help. 
Weeks later we hosted a great night at G&F - Mama Sue spoke and so did Elizabeth - it was so emotional and we learned afterwards that as a result several people sponsored a child directly as Lisa had done.
 Lisa is no longer with us - sadly and leaving a huge void, Lisa passed away in May this year. Lisa knew her time was limited and yet still found the amazing strength to be bossy to the end.
 I promised Lisa that I would take over sponsorship of her young lady and that Grace & Favour Fabrics and The Sewing Sanctuary would host an event to help to raise the monies required to ensure a happy and safe future and a brilliant education for the Happy House Children. 
 So here we are on the eve of our task - a task that that today  reminds me of all the wonderful people that I have been blessed to associate with. 
Thank you in advance to every stall holder and shop and business owner who has paid fees to attend this charity event - all monies will go to the charity this is absolutely a not for profit event.
 If it rains put your hood up, if its cold call in and warm up in any one of our amazing shops - huddle and sing with our fabulous line up of artists - visit anyone of of the amazing stalls selling Christmas gifts, foods and much more
But, please, above all help us to help Lisa do what she set out to do"

Friday, 27 November 2015

70th birthday surprise

Scott and Laura Webster have been supporting Happy House right from the very start and have visited many times.
Uncle Scott, a keen gardener, likes nothing more than helping in the garden and his knowledge has done a huge amount to help our gardener Chris to improve the yield of vegetables.
Scott receives a weekly report from Chris and  makes recommendations on crop rotation and on solving any problems that may arise.
They are also raised lots of money for Happy House over the years.
Scott and Laura arrived at Happy House from their home in Royal Wootton Bassett on Monday, and yesterday there was surprise party to mark his 70th birthday.
Most of our children are on visits to relatives, but those who have stayed at home were really in the party mood with songs, dancing and musical chairs.
A birthday cake was set the seal on the celebration with everyone enjoying a piece.
Happy birthday, Uncle Scott.

Turn Black Friday into Give Back Friday

Today is what the retail world has dubbed Black Friday when shops across the UK will be holding the biggest sales of the year, meaning it's the perfect time to pick up party dresses, grab gifts and take advantage of tech bargains.
Please don't forget you can collect free donations for Children of Watamu Happy House - Kenya every time you shop online thanks to
There are nearly 3,000 shops on board, ready to make a free donation to us - it doesn't cost you a penny extra.

It's really simple, all you have to do is:
1. Join - Head to and sign up for free.
2. Shop - Every time you shop online, go to easyfundraising first, pick the retailer you want and start shopping.
3. Raise - After you've checked out, that retailer will make a donation to Children of Watamu Happy House - Kenya for no extra cost whatsoever!

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Life saving lesson and Cleveleys cuppa date

Having a trained nurse on the spot is too good an opportunity to miss.
Joanne Reid who, with her husband, Peter, is on her fourth visit to Happy House has been giving staff a lesson in life saving.
Jo, from Lytham, is a nurse at Spire Fylde Coast Hospital, gave a presentation to refresh the knowledge of staff who where there for her similar class last year and a new skill for staff who have joined since then.
Knowing how to react in an emergency is important and Jo talked about the basics of first aid and resuscitation.
Cuppa call
Members of our sponsor family are joining forces to hold a coffee/tea afternoon at 43A, Cleveleys Avenue, Cleveleys, Lancashire, on tomorrow, from 2pm-4pm.
Have a  Brew for Watamu is being held at the home of Sue and David Mitchell, who are in our little Neema's sponsor family, and is being hosted jointly with Pauline Royle, who is a member of Jane's sponsor family.
Donations for the bring and buy, book and cake stalls are welcomed.
Admission  £2.50 (including coffee, cake and raffle ticket) , pay on the door.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Love in the post from County Down

From Ireland:
Gifts from  County Down will be lighting up lives of Happy House kids this Christmas
Our friend Dawn Heather White, community services manager with mental health in the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, issued a charity challenge to her colleagues after returning from her latest visit to our family, last month.Auntie Dawn Heather, who sponsors  Katana, has been to Happy huse many times and is a great friend.  Over 
And arriving in Kenya
the years, with support from colleagues and friends, she has raised almos £700.
True to form her collegaues rallied to her latest call, posting 61 gift bags of goodies for Happy House kids.
“On my recent visit to Happy House I was helping to organise Christmas presents for each of the children. The aim is for each child to get new outfit and a small present.
“Since getting back I have been putting together parcels to send out but each parcel costs £8 to post air mail.
Cara with her Choo Choo doll and crown
“I wondered if anybody would like to help by ‘posting a parcel’ and asked my colleagues.
“I addressed padded envelopes and included the present and a gift bag and asked if anyone would take one to post, or donate £8 to cover the postage".
Dawn Heather, who offered spot prizes as an incentive for those posting parcels, is thrilled with the fabulous response and little extras added too.
And one lucky little girl will receive a princess crown and a Choo Choo doll – because, according to Alice, the four year old daughter of a team leader Cara  McCarron, “every little girl is a princess”
 “ Cara went on to the charity website to explain more to Alice who went straight  to get her special bag of her most favourite toys and chose a Choo Choo doll, which has a twin so they will each have one,  and her princess crown.
“Her childminder’s son, Nathan, has put in a plastic fire engine into his parcel and both have added paintings..
 “It is lovely that the children are given the opportunity to think about others and do something practical to help,” said Dawn Heather.
Top picture: : Mark Wright, support worker;  Dawn Heather White, community mental health services manager; Heather Merry ,community psychiatric nurse and Cara McCarron, team leader

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Home visits

In the school holidays, where possible, our children go on visits to relatives.
And in the last few days, a lot of our youngsters have packed up and gone off happily to stay with members of their family - some to a parents, others to aunts, uncles or grandmas.
These are very important times for all, and meantime those who stay at home at Happy House are enjoying the first week off from school.

Monday, 23 November 2015

School breaks for 2015!

 School's Out for another year at Happy House.
The end of the 2015 academic year was marked with a Closing Day Celebration when parents, relatives and friends were invited to attend.
For our KG3 children it was an important day when they celebrated their graduation to primary school, with presentations of certificates of merit.
Class places were also announced with certificates for those in first,second and third place.
Trophies were presented to the best classes and most improved class with the best class for lower school going to Class 3 and the Best Class in Upper School to Class 4, Class 3 was also the most improved class.
The new school year starts in January.

Your shopping can earn us a pretty penny!

We need your help. Turn Black Friday into Give Back Friday! 
This Friday ( November 27) shops across the uk will be holding the biggest sales of the year, meaning it's the perfect time to pick up party dresses, grab gifts and take advantage of tech bargains. 
Don't forget you can collect free donations for Children of Watamu Happy House - Kenya every time you shop online thanks to
There are nearly 3,000 shops on board, ready to make a free donation to us - it doesn't cost you a penny extra. 
Since we joined easyfundraising, 76 of you have signed up and their shopping has raised a massive £926.77 in donations at no extra cost to them.
It's really simple, all you have to do is:
1. Join - Head to and sign up for free.
2. Shop - Every time you shop online, go to easyfundraising first, pick the retailer you want and start shopping.
3. Raise - After you've checked out, that retailer will make a donation to Children of Watamu Happy House - Kenya for no extra cost whatsoever!
Thank you for your support this Give Back Friday.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

All about me, by Jacinta

Today's junior blogger is Jacinta, who is eight.
My name is Jacinta
I am a girl
I love myself
My best teacher is a girl, she is called Madam Naomi.
I love her so much
I have a brother and a sister. 
They are called Derrick and Florence.
We live at Happy House.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Methodist treasures! Hajiri's day and thanks

Bits and pieces of brica-a-brac are a building up a healthy sum towards our Building a Bright Future Appeal.
The members of Poulton Methodist Church Cameo Club have chosen Happy House as their charity for the proceeds of the stall at their twice-monthly meeting, until the end of December, and have already raised £300.
Elizabeth Gomm went to their meeting this week to show them our latest Happy House video and to give them an update on our work.
Old friends, they were pleased to see how far we have come and eager to send Sue and Dave their love and good wishes.
Elizabeth will go back in January to receive the proceeds of their sales, but in the meantime, this week's meeting resulted in donations of £55.
Thank you ladies for your friendship and your prayers. It means so much.
Pictured from left are: Wendie Brocklehurst, Liz Dale. Carol Kenworthy and Margaret White

Hajiri's day

This week has seen just one birthday to celebrate at the Happy House - Hajiri's.
Hariji was seven on Wednesday and, as is our way, she received her birthday greetings and gifts when all the family was gathered together at Kidz Club.
Our special visitors Joanne and Peter Reid were asked to present the birthday girl with her gift bag.


Also at Kidz Club, Mama Sue and the family looked back on the previous Saturday and Auntie Velma's wedding.
Mama thanked all the children for being so helpful and staff for their cooperation - all of which added up to a very happy day for everyone

Friday, 20 November 2015

Wedding joy in pictures

Today, we are happy to bring you more pictures of Auntie Velma's happiest day.
These pictures, taken by Uncle Ronald and Mr Omoi, give a glimpse of the day as it unfolded and the part members of our family played in making her wedding to finance Cleophas very special indeed.
The happy couple are pictured left with two of our little ones - Esther and Mourine.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Parties play their part

Parties are an important part of childhood and for our kids at Happy House they help to ease painful memories of the past
Every child comes to our family from a background of loss, hunger, fear or neglect and whilst we can never completely erase those memories we can give them lots of joyful experiences which, as adults, they will look back on with a smile.
Our parties cost very little. The only requirements are energy, enthusiasm and a bit of cake.
Mama and Papa take every opportunity to give our kids, and our friends, a good time.
Linda Newman, a great friend of Mama and Papa and the whole family, owns the Giriama Residence in Watamu where many of our volunteers have stayed.
Linda, who divides her time between the UK and Kenya,  just happened to be in Watamu for her birthday and Mama decided to spring a surprise party.
It was tremendous fun, with lots and dancing and a lots of laughter.
Just what memories are made of!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Karibuni Jo and Pete

What a lot they got!
Peter and Joanne Reid arrived at the Happy House bearing gifts galore for our family.
Pete and Jo, from Lytham, Lancashire, brought bags full of fantastic clothes and other items they had bought and received in donations from friends.
Jo, a nurse at Fylde Spire Hospital, had been given lots of lovely items from her colleagues, plus her colleagues and friends helped her to raise more than £350 at a special Prosecco and Nibbles night at the hospital, which they will use to buy groceries and household items for the Happy house while they are there.
Mama was thrilled to welcome our old friends back on their fourth visit and to catch up on their news.
 Jo, who is in Florence's sponsor family, was delighted to see her little girl again.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Brenda's bingo bonus

There was a full house at Letcombe Regis Village Hall in Oxfordshire on Friday.
Villagers turned out to support our Happy House at a prize bingo organised by Brenda Groves and her brother Russell Stock.
All the prizes had been donated thanks to the generosity of friends and local businesses, and the evening raised a wonderful £465 which has been increased to £500 by a a very kind friend of Brenda's.
Brenda said:  " It was a great evening, there was such a lovely turnout and so nice to see lots of people from the village I grew up in.   
" My thanks are to Ann Summers who helped so much, getting prizes and making cakes.  To Russell my brother who worked so hard, Des Williams for calling and Abigail for checking all the numbers.  
To the many businesses, too many to  mention individually, who donated and friends also. Thank you to everybody for making it such a great evening."
Thank you from Happy House for all your efforts Brenda and for your constant love and support, and to Russell, Des, Anne and anyone who contributed to the success of the evening in any way and for getting our Secondary School appeal another £500 nearer to its target.
Pictured from left are: Des, Russell, Brenda and Anne.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Love and smiles for Velma & Cleophas - with video

The Happy House was the perfect setting for a wedding on Saturday.
Trimmed with beautiful floral displays and other decorations, everywhere looked its best for our very special couple, our much-loved Auntie Velma and her "Mr Right", Cleophas.
Everyone was up early to get the decorations ready, and to get prepared for the ceremony and reception to follow -  with all hands helping in the kitchen.
Papa Dave turned bridal chauffeur as he went to collect Velma from her home in the village to drive her to the most important date of her life.
Our bride looked as pretty as a picture, had been helped to get ready by her friend, our Auntie Lydia.
When she arrived at Happy House Mama was waiting with all the family to greet her.
All our girls had matching dresses, and all the boys had new shirts with epaulettes and handkerchiefs in matching lilac.
Mama had the honour of escorting Velma down the "aisle" and to give her away to her waiting husband-to-be.
The gathering was in fine voice for the songs and hymns, and all clapped and cheered when the Pastor pronounced Cleophas and Velma, man and wife.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Our smiling faces for wedding - by Salama

Salama  had a very important job as an attendant at Auntie Velma's wedding.
She was looking forward to the big day, which took place yesterday, when she wrote this blog earlier this week:
"The wedding of Aunt Velma will be on November 14 on that day we will be HAPPY!
The time will come and we will enjoy ourselves we will be perfect.
We will wear smart clothes then we shall decorate our banda it will be surprise.
We will be wearing our smiling faces on that day.
Aunt Velma and Cleophas will be married, it is good to celebrate the wedding day together  and we will enjoy ourselves.
*Salama is pictured with Auntie Velma as she leaves her home for her Happy House wedding. We will have more pictures in th next few days,

Saturday, 14 November 2015

School celebrations and presentations

It's been a huge week for our Class Eight students, but now their KCPE exams are over and they can relax for a while - and today, they can put all those Saturdays of revision behind them and enjoy Auntie Velma's wedding day.
Janet with Mama, Papa & Uncle Billy
The youngsters have embraced the exams with enthusiasm and optimism.
On Tuesday, after their first full day they returned to Happy House for Kidz Club when all their "brothers" and "sisters" cheered and clapped for them.
There was a special treat of juice and biscuits and the exam candidates were keen to share the news of their day with Mama.
Every day since they have come home as bright and eager as when they left in the morning.
Well done, kids, we wish you every success.

 Thank you Holy Family

Auntie Libby was reunited with our Masai warrior Musyoka when she called into Holy
Family RC Primary School, Blackpool, yesterday.
Musyoka has been acting as a mascot for their fundraising for Happy House and now they have raised £150  the school council has returned him along with a very big cheque!
Libby was delighted to go into school to accept the cheque and to say thank you from all our family and to let the know the money will be used to make desks for our secondary school.
Thank you to everyone who helped, and a special mention to Charlotte Barber, who has now moved on to high school, and to her sister Natalie for introducing Happy House to the school council.
If there are any other schools in Blackpool or on the Fylde Coast that would like to raise money for Happy House and would like our Musyoka to be their mascot please get into with Libby - 

Friday, 13 November 2015

Wedding chimes for Auntie Velma

All good wishes from friends all around the world to our lovely bride to be Auntie Velma.
Velma will marry her sweetheart, Cleophas, at the Happy House tomorrow  morning with an entourage of kids as her attendants.
Auntie Velma has a very special place in our family which is why Mama offered the Happy House as a venue for her wedding - it is Velma's second home and all the children love her.
We hope you have a wonderful day Velma and send you and Cleophas lots of love for happiness together always.
We are looking forward to seeing the pictures and video and sharing in your big day.

Bingo night

It's eyes down at 7.30pm tonight at Letcombe Regis Village Hall, Oxfordshire, when Brenda Groves and family host a Happy House prize bingo to raise money for our Happy House Building a Bright Future Appeal to finish, furnish, equip and resource our secondary school by January.
Good luck everyone.

Italian event

 Some of our wonderful friends in Italy , StaFFFeste, are holding a fundraising night tomorrow, in collaboration with the Alpine Group of Lierna & Cortenova , to raise moeny for the Happy House and two other children's organisations, one Watamu and another Majengo,
The Day of Solidarity will comprise of entertainment and food and music from 5pm at Bindo Cortenova.
We wish you a very happy and successful event.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Busy time for Auntie Libby

Some members of Cabus WI
It's been a busy time for our ambassador in the UK, Elizabeth Gomm.
Elizabeth, Auntie Libby to our family, has been out and about giving talks about our family.
Auntie Libby in St Annes
Last week, after a very successful event at Spire Hospital with Jo and Peter Reid, early in the week she was at Cabus, near Garstang, and in St Annes on Sea the following evening.
Her hosts at Cabus were the ladies of the Women's Institure who made a donation of £30 to the Happy House.
At St Annes, the St Margaret's Church Evening Ladies Guild were a lovely audience.
St Margaret's Guild
Libby had stood in at the last minute when their planned speaker was unable to attend, and they were all so appreciative.
She received a £30 club donation plus £35 in individual donations. The money from both talks has been added to our Building a Bright Future Appeal.
This week she again stepped in at the last minute, this time for St Annes Inner Wheel International Night.
Their planned speaker was unable to be there, so Libby was asked to talk about Happy House - and she never misses an opportunity to do that.
Members of Inner Wheel were joined by husbands and friends who are members of local Rotary Club for  a dinner and talk at the Bedford Hotel.
Libby  showed them a video and  gave them an insight to Happy House life, highlight the high standards set by Mama Sue who believes that only the best is good enough for a child, regardless of background.
They were impressed and inspired by Happy House and the way that every penny raised goes directly where it is intended.
Libby was introduced by and thanked by club international chairman, Denise Jones.
She is pictured with District chair, Karen Henshaw, Denise Jones and club chair, Carol Wildon.
The evening raised £234 toward our Building a Bright Future Appeal to finish, furnish and open our secondary school.

BIngo Night

Brenda Groves, who is in Charity's sponsor family, and family are holding a findraising bingo night for our Building a Bright Future Appeal tomorrow (Friday)  evening at Letcombe Regis Village Hall, Oxfordshire.
 Eyes down at 7.30pm.
 Brenda, who lives in Wantage,  says that lots of lovely prizes have been donated by local businesses and friends.
 Please go along if you are in the area.

Cleveleys Coffee Time

Members of our sponsor family are joining forces to hold a coffee afternoon at 43A, Cleveleys Avenue, Cleveleys, Lancashire, on Friday, November 27 from 2pm-4pm.
Have a  Brew for Watamu is being held at the home of Sue and David Mitchell, who are in our little Neema's sponsor family, and is being hosted jointly with Pauline Royle, who is a member of Jane's sponsor family.
Donations for the bring and buy, book and cake stalls are welcomed.
Tickets are £2.50 (including coffee, cake and raffle ticket) in advance from Pauline on 0776 219 7992 or pay on the door.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

School Report: Primary class awards

School is out this week, for all except out KCPE exam candidates, so everyone is having a week of activities at home - and preparing for Auntie Velma's wedding at Happy House on Saturday.
But we still have a school report from Teacher Neema, who tells us that after the mid-term exam Class Two was the Best Class in lower primary, with Class Four taking the award for upper primary.
In Playgroup,  youngsters are encouraged to enjoy free play when they also learn to share, develop their language and strengthen their fine motor skills by making things from constriction toys.
There's been a noisy time in KG 1 who have been hitting the high notes with tambourines, drums and other percussion instruments.
It's lots of fun being at Happy House School.

Our school, their bright future

We are nearing the final straight of fundraising to raise £25,000 to finish, furnish and open our Happy House Secondary School in January.
We have to raise £5,320 to take us to our target and to secure the education of those young people in Class Eight who are taking their KCPE exams this week.
You can help by holding an event, maybe a coffee morning or afternoon with a few friends, taking up a sponsored challenge or by simply making a donation.
Every penny will help get us there.  This school will educate children for many, many, years to come. Education is their only road out of poverty, please help us to keep them on that road.
You can make a donation online at or if you prefer to send a cheque (payable to Happy House) it should be posted to Elizabeth Gomm, 6 Burwood Drive, Blackpool, FY3 8NS