Fabulous costumes get a second lease of life with kids’ drama group

MOVING ON Val Higham with some of the costumes.  Inset, handing them to Pam Marshall
MOVING ON Val Higham with some of the costumes. Inset, handing them to Pam Marshall
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MORE THAN 100 intricately made theatre costumes have been given to a young drama group – thanks to The News.

Val Higham appealed to readers for a special theatre group to donate the handmade costumes too after she decided to retire from helping out her local theatre group.

Val Higham handing them to Pam Marshall

Val Higham handing them to Pam Marshall

The 63-year-old was inundated with requests but it was Youngstars, who raise money for Hannah’s Holiday Home, who impressed her most.

The charity was set up by Pam Marshall in memory of her daughter Hannah Westbrook, who died aged 10 after suffering from Hodgkin’s disease.

Mrs Marshall and drama teacher Sue Stokes are now in possession of dozens of fairy costumes, kings, queens, some court jesters and a Friar Tuck outfit.

Mrs Higham, from Westbourne, said: ‘I had at least half a dozen calls after I was featured in The News – it was an amazing response.

‘We’ve managed to find them a good home where they will be well used and well looked after.

‘We had a lot of interest but I was struck with Hannah’s Holiday Home. Pam and Sue are so enthusiastic and Pam does a really splendid job.

‘I’ve told them my husband and I would love to go along to the productions. We can’t wait to see the costumes on stage.’

Hannah, died in 2004 after battling cancer for two years. Her mum set about raising enough money to buy a holiday home in a picturesque corner of the New Forest where families of children who are ill can get away from it all and relax together.

Each February Youngstars put on a big show with a week-long run to aid for the holiday home. This year they handed over a cheque for £2,000.

Mrs Marshall, from Horndean, said: ‘The costumes are really good. It’s truly amazing to have them.

‘Val gave us so much, including yards and yards of fabric and props. They’re all so well made. We’ve invited her along to the next show.’

In return for the costumes Mrs Higham accepted a donation to Help for Heroes and Canine Partners.

The Youngstars meet at Cowplain Social Club every Monday from 6.30pm to 8pm for four to 18-year-olds.