Jermain Defoe was a special guest as No 11 Downing Street hosted a very special Christmas party with Starlight Children’s Foundation for fifty children with serious and terminal illnesses.
The children were invited by Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Starlight to a spectacular tea party in the state rooms, which had been transformed to mirror the magical world of Alice in Wonderland for the afternoon.
After passing through that well-known doorway, the children were guided in to a captivating winter scene, where they were greeted by a host of Christmas characters and decorations. The Chancellor of the Exchequer welcomed the children and their families to Downing Street and wished them a Happy Christmas, before encouraging them to tuck in to the magnificent afternoon tea provided.
The ever-popular JD signed autographs and had pictures taken with the delighted children, as well as helping the kids decorate mini treasure chests and hats.
Kimberley Walsh and Nicola Roberts from Girls Aloud, actress Patsy Kensit and recent ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here’ winner Stacey Solomon also attended.
When football mad Starlight wish child Aiden Coxhead met Jermain he told his idol about his recent Starlight wish to watch England play in the World Cup in South Africa.
Aiden is only 9 and suffers from the life shortening illness Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic condition that affects the lungs and digestive system. Aiden must take a cocktail of medication daily as well as have physiotherapy and stints in hospital.
Afterwards, Aiden said to Starlight: “When I feel sad or want to talk with other people I find it really easy to talk about football. I love it, in fact I am happiest in the world when I am talking about it, playing it with my brothers or watching England games”.
Another young fan is Kieri Greaves, aged 4 who suffers from Leukaemia. Keiri spent last Christmas having intense chemotherapy and was unable to enjoy any of the festivities, and the Christmas before he was also very ill as it was only a few days before that he was diagnosed with the condition.
Starlight has just arranged for Keiri and his family to spend three magical days in Lapland so that they could all enjoy the thrill and excitement of Christmas together. He is pictured with Jermain above.
Starlight grants once-in-a-lifetime wishes for seriously and terminally ill children, restoring the magic and fun of childhood and giving the whole family happy memories to share, whatever the future holds.
Starlight also creates entertainment in every hospital and hospice throughout the UK. Sick children go to Starlight parties, laugh their way through pantomimes, go out on Starlight Escapes, play games and watch films on the Starlight Fun Centre, and enjoy the toys and puzzles of the Starlight Distraction Box. Happy children respond better to treatment and Starlight helps children to forget about their illness and simply have a bit of fun.
To refer a brave child or to make a donation, simply log on to www.starlight.org.uk or call 020 7262 2881. For every £1 you donate, Starlight can assure you that 88p goes towards helping Starlight’s very ill children.