Spreading cheer for seriously-ill children with card competition

Sarah Smith from Same Difference and Sam Merrick. Picture: Martyn Roberts
Sarah Smith from Same Difference and Sam Merrick. Picture: Martyn Roberts
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YOUNGSTERS are helping to spread Christmas cheer for seriously-ill children.

Patients at Queen Alexandra Hospital’s children’s ward created 10 Christmas cards to raise money for the charity Sam’s Haven which provides short breaks for families of sick children.

And pop star Sarah Smith, from X Factor finalists Same Difference, had the hard task of whittling down all the entries.

Louise Merrick, mum of six-year-old Sam who is the inspiration behind the charity, said: ‘Poor Sarah had such a hard job choosing which ones to make into cards.

‘All of them were excellent. I was glad it wasn’t me who had to choose.

‘We are so happy with the final 10 and hope they raise a lot of money.’

Elsewhere tennis players have been playing hard and raised an incredible £4,000 for the charity.

More than 100 people took part in Southsea Tennis Club’s 24-hour tennisathon.

Club members set themselves a target of £4,000 to pay for a ramp for wheelchair access to the caravan, which is in Church Farm, Pagham, West Sussex – and they did 
it.

Ann Clark, the tennisathon organiser, said: ’Much to everyone’s delight the target has been 
achieved.

‘It was a tremendous effort by the members of the club and we are all very pleased to have been able to help.’

Afterwards Sam, of Bere Road, Denmead, was the guest of honour at the opening ceremony of two newly resurfaced courts which have been funded in part by a grant from Sport England.

Louise, 33, said the whole family are grateful for the addition to the luxury caravan.

She said: ‘This is great news as it opens the caravan up to so many more families and just makes accessing the caravan that much safer.

‘It is thanks to Southsea Tennis Club and the recent Boogie Night disco organised by Dinah Walters.

‘The other good news is that Chris Freely and the team at MMD at the ferry port completed a 77-mile cycle around the Isle of Wight.

‘This has helped pay for more electric sockets within the caravan meaning we can fit in more medical equipment.’

To buy Christmas cards and see upcoming events go to samshaven.com.