Mad Hatter’s Party brings happiness to scores of sick children

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DALEKS, Pompey players, EastEnders and Disney princesses all took time out of their busy schedules to bring smiles to the faces of scores of sick children.

The 14th Mad Hatter’s Party was held at the Marriott Hotel in North Harbour, Portsmouth, yesterday.

The Mad Hatters Tea party

The Mad Hatters Tea party

Each year, people from all walks of life pitch in to throw a party for children from the cancer wards at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, Southampton General Hospital and other specialist care centres such as The Rainbow Centre in Fareham.

This year saw EastEnders star Jake Wood, who plays Max Branning, make a guest appearance.

He said: ‘It’s a great event and it is a great honour to be invited.’

Pompey manager Andy Awford was at the event, along with players Jed Wallace and Nigel Atangana.

It has been brilliant. It is really special – the best day of the year

Vicky Cleaver

Former Pompey star Linvoy Primus was meeting and greeting children, with local TV presenter Fred Dinenage.

And there were plenty of activities to fill the day, with clowns, magicians, a petting zoo, face painting, candy floss and much more.

Vicky Cleaver, from Fratton, was there with her 
three-year-old son Archie, who is blind and has cerebral palsy.

She said: ‘It has been brilliant.

‘It is really special – the best day of the year.’

For seven-year-old Kai Hughes, who was there with his sister 10-year-old Kimberley and their parents, the best part was the robots.

Kai, who has leukaemia, said: ‘They squirted water from their eyes.’

Organiser Malcolm Drew thanked everybody for taking part and encouraged others to get involved.

He said: ‘It helps lift their spirits and helps them with their illness.

‘It gives them a little wow. It is brilliant.’

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