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CHRISTMAS CHEER: chance to share in £5,5000 charity giveaway

PUBLISHED: 10:23 18 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:36 07 September 2010

By Susanna Wilkey APPLICATIONS have been flooding in for this year s Christmas Cheer competition which will provide local charitable groups with vital cash. The Ham&High has teamed up with Barclays for this special giveaway which will see a total of £5,50

By Susanna Wilkey

APPLICATIONS have been flooding in for this year's Christmas Cheer competition which will provide local charitable groups with vital cash.

The Ham&High has teamed up with Barclays for this special giveaway which will see a total of £5,500 dished out to worthy groups. And we are still looking for more organisations to apply for financial help.

One Muswell Hill woman who was inspired by the work the Hornsey Trust does with children with cerebral palsy has applied for a grant on its behalf.

Susan Bennett, who lives in Regis Close, said: "It is a wonderful charity and they all have such tremendous enthusiasm and do such good work.

"The money raised from the Muswell Hill Festival goes to The Hornsey Trust and this year my husband and I had a plant stall there.

"I met one of the teachers from the trust who was looking for scented plants to introduce the children to different sensual qualities of plants and to encourage them to plant them."

Ms Bennett and her husband Earl Hyde decided to invite the children to visit their garden, which is adorned with plants of all different types, a temple, waterfalls and ponds.

"The children were enchanted. They watched the leaves swaying and felt the plants and listened to the water. The ones who arrived with their heads down came alive," she said.

"We were very touched by the response from the children and the teachers who all loved it."

They have decided to make it a regular scheme in the summer and Ms Bennett has nominated the charity for a Christmas Cheer grant to raise funds to build their own sensory garden.

She said: "They have a bit of wasteland and it has been cleared of rubble but it is just waiting for something to be done. The idea is to create a sensory garden with all sorts of plants and raised beds so the children can plant as well as enjoy a garden on their doorstop."

The charity, based in Muswell Hill, provides one-to-one education for children with cerebral palsy and is entirely dependent on donations from individuals and grants.

Another applicant for a Ham&High grant is the Theodora Children's Trust, whose aim is to make sick children smile again by using clowns to amuse them.

If successful, the charity would use the Christmas Cheer grant to fund a clown doctor to visit Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The clowns visit the children and play games with them, make them laugh and entertain with magic shows.

A parent of a child with cancer said: "Whenever the clowns were on the ward it made my son so happy that the reason why he was there seemed to melt away. The smile on my son's face brought tears to my eyes.

"Making children laugh and smile under such tragic circumstances deserves to be highly rewarded."

Frances Binns, therapeutic and specialised play consultant, added: "The Theodora Children's Trust clown doctors are an excellent initiative. They inject laughter, humour and happiness into the lives of children and young people of all abilities, cultures and needs, plus their families."

Anyone can enter for a Christmas Cheer grant whether you help out with a registered charity, organise a scout group or just know a local organisation that needs some help.

The closing date for receipt of applications is December 3. Shortlisted entrants will be advised the following week, with an awards ceremony taking place on December 11.

To enter, fill out the attached form. Please note, this must be a registered charity or not-for-profit organisation.

susanna.wilkey@hamhigh.co.uk


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