Circus helps Waterlooville school raise more than £2,000 for play equipment

Ringmaster Ross and Luke Gosney (11) with (front. from left: Poppy Shirley (nine), Sidney Shirley (five) and Jake Webb (five). 

Picture: Sarah Standing (170669-2660)
Ringmaster Ross and Luke Gosney (11) with (front. from left: Poppy Shirley (nine), Sidney Shirley (five) and Jake Webb (five). Picture: Sarah Standing (170669-2660)
Haverhill's Family Christmas Night (as pictured from last year) takes place on Friday, December 1. Picture by Andy Mayes.

Haverhill festive weekend has plenty for all of the family

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A CLOWN, a ringmaster and a juggler took over a Waterlooville school for a action-packed display.

Berewood Primary School gave its pupils a treat when the circus arrived in town.

We had so many messages from parents on Facebook asking us to do it again next year.

Lisa Shirley, PTA committee member

It was part of a fundraising campaign to buy new outdoor equipment which can be used by children in wheelchairs.

Lisa Shirley, vice-chairwoman of the parent teacher association, said: ‘Last year we held a summer fair but we wanted to do something different this time round.

‘Everyone loved the circus. We had so many messages from parents on Facebook asking us to do it again next year.

‘The circus had a clown, a ringmaster, it was really entertaining.

‘They also put out little wooden seats at the front specially for the children so they could see.’

As well as children and parents, the crowd of more than 550 people included local residents also came along to support the school. More than £2,300 was raised from ticket sales and other activities.

Happy’s Circus, which held the event, helps communities and schools raise funds as part of its performances.

Lisa, whose children Poppy, nine, and Sidney, five, go to the school, said: ‘They turned up at about 9am, and within two hours they had set up 
this massive tent. It was unbelievable.

‘They made such an effort with the children as well. There was one mum who wasn’t sure if her son, who’s in a wheelchair, would come, but they sat down and talked to him first and were really friendly.

‘When you are part of a PTA you are wary that some events can cause people to moan but the reaction to the circus has been all positive.’

The school in Kentidge Way opened its doors in September 2014 and took on 67 students.

Under headmistress Sue Patrick it has continued to grow but still needs funding to improve its outdoor space.

Lisa, who organised the event alongside the PTA committee and co-vice chair Samm Mackinnon, said: ‘We had some people turn up who said they didn’t even know there was a school here.

‘People often think a new school would be fully-equipped and have lots of money, but that isn’t always the case.

‘It has been quite challenging times setting up a new school, it’s not as easy as it seems.

‘Sue has been here since the beginning.

‘There is not a history here but it is being created.’