Helena Bonham Carter star guest at charity event

Susanna Wilkey WITH everything from face painting to cakes and bouncy castles, the third annual Perfect Day festival in Swiss Cottage this September promises to provide fun for all the family. The fair, which gets bigger and better every year, is in aid o

Susanna Wilkey

WITH everything from face painting to cakes and bouncy castles, the third annual Perfect Day festival in Swiss Cottage this September promises to provide fun for all the family.

The fair, which gets bigger and better every year, is in aid of children with special needs at the Swiss Cottage Specialist School and will be launched by Belsize Park celebrity Helena Bonham Carter.

On September 13, Avenue Road will become pedestrian for the day, with the festival boasting a funfair, concerts, stalls and a classic car show, perfect for families and tourists alike.


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Ms Bonham Carter, who is taking a break from filming for the role of Bellatrix Lestrange in the new Harry Potter film The Deathly Hallows, said: "I am thrilled to be able to support the fundraising efforts of the Swiss Cottage School.

"These kids are fantastic and the school is a magical place for learning. Last year, the fair attracted 10,000 people, locals and tourists alike, and all the indications point to another Perfect Day as families flock to this fun-packed day of live music, dance, comedy, funfair, children's farm and stalls galore.

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"I hope you will all come and join us on Sunday September 13 in Swiss Cottage and bring your friends too. The day promises to be perfect!"

The event is organised by several neighbours of the school who decided to take community needs into their own hands and help raise the �120,000 shortfall in the school's government and council funding for 2010.

There will be hundreds of stalls, a children's farm and a trumpet fanfare by the Kings Troup will add to the celebrations. A Ham&High Showcase will also show off some local musical talent, following a successful showcase at the recent Fair In The Square in Highgate.

Headteacher Kay Bedford said: "We are really looking forward to the festival because everyone always enjoys it.

"It raises money and awareness for the school and our children.

"We are very grateful to the neighbours for leading on this. We have a budget deficit every year and we are hoping to raise �50,000 from the fair.

"It is a unique event and a lot of local residents come and give money, which is fantastic.

"We provide an outstanding service for our children, more than many other schools like us, and that is why the money is so vital. This is a really important event for us."

The school caters for 151 pupils aged between two and 16 and employs almost 100 staff plus teams of therapists, nurses and other visiting professionals.

It is rated outstanding by Ofsted and is a leading example of best practice in special needs education in the UK.

The school's mission is to encourage high achievement and respect and to equip the pupils with skills for life, self-esteem and self-confidence as well as providing a safe, nurturing and fun environment in which to learn.

Vanessa Evans, who is on the organising committee, said: "I am really glad I am giving something back. It is a very special school and they are doing an amazing job.

"Ofsted has rated them as one of the best in England. The work they do is fantastic and the children are all well-adjusted and happy.

"We hope to raise �120,000 throughout the year and especially with the fair which gets better and better each year."

To donate visit www.just giving.com/ aperfectday or email marshanlee@ gmail.com.

Any musical acts who would like to take to the stage should send demos to us in the post or email band websites to editorial@hamhigh.co.uk.

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