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Thursday, 27 August 2015

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Carlisle pupils show qualities beyond their years helping terminally ill children

Making dreams come true is a lofty challenge – but if anyone can make them reality, it is this group of children.

Charity kids photo
Norman Street School Charity Superstars Club with Lee Barnham and Leanne Codona

Ask nine-year-old Leia Ransley and her friends why they are so determined to support a charity helping disabled and terminally ill children and her response is one far beyond her years.

“They give them one magical day they can remember for the rest of her life,” she says.

“It’s because they help children our age and younger.”

Friend Kayleigh Scott, 10, adds: “It’s really worth it.”

The girls are part of the Charity Superstars Club at their school, Norman Street Primary in Carlisle.

That 10-strong group are raising money for the Make A Wish Foundation, a charity which grants wishes to children with serious illnesses.

It’s a cause they’ve helped before with Leia and Kayleigh organising fundraising discos, which spurred the creation of the Charity Superstars Club by teacher Benet Waterman.

And the foundation is a charity close to Leia’s heart, one her family donated money to following the death of her dad, Patrick Ransley, 34, in a motorbike accident in 2007. Their charity challenge will be in his memory.

Fundraising efforts by the youngster and her year five classmates this time around will see them scale-up their challenge.

On Friday, March 22, they are hosting a Fashion Entertainment Evening in their school hall. It will feature music, dance, style and stories. And their determination to organise the showcase has already seen the children secure an impressive amount of support.

The band Room 101 has agreed to play at the event, which will also featuring dancing choreographed by Leanne Codona, of StagedRight Theatre School and see the superstars take to the catwalk for a mini fashion show. Carlisle children’s author Julia Clifford – creator of The Secret of Indalia – will also be on hand for a book signing. Leia’s mum, Tracey Bouch, said the children’s previous fundraising success had encouraged them to try something bigger and has been impressed by the work they’ve done.

“They are an amazing group. You wouldn’t think children so young could be so focussed and determined to help other people. What they’re doing’s just brilliant,” she said.

The children are involved in organising every aspect of the fundraiser, raffle tickets for which went on sale this week. On the evening, they will be at the centre of operations on stage and behind the scenes – something Mrs Waterman believes will stand them in good stead for the future. She said: “This is a wonderful experience for the children. They’re a great bunch of kids.”

Norman Street headteacher Nick Page praised the hard work put in by all involved, adding: “It just shows the energy the children have. You can see they have grown in confidence. They’ve done an amazing job. It’s the children who are pushing the adults to support them and make a really special event.”

Halo Body and Soul are providing the make-up on the evening.

Anyone interested in supporting the event and Make A Wish Foundation can contact Norman Street Primary on 01228 607501. The fundraising evening begins at 6pm.



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