Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Sebastian's Action Trust has Christmas for ill children

Children at Portway Junior School dressed in their Christmas clothes
Image caption Portway Junior School in Andover dressed in their Christmas clothes for the Trust earlier in July

A Hampshire charity for terminally ill children has held a Christmas party for those who may not be alive to enjoy the festive season this year.

Sebastian's Action Trust's private event at its respite holiday home in North Waltham is part of its first Christmas In July campaign.

Father Christmas was there as well as a Santa's grotto, festive gifts, crackers and Christmas carols.

Volunteer coordinator Robyn Harvey said it was about "creating happy memories".

She added: "For some seriously-ill children, waiting until December to enjoy Christmas may be just that little bit too long.

"We want to help all children, even those who are very unwell - celebrate the joy of Christmas."

Around 120 children attended with their families to enjoy festive activities as well as summertime ones, including a Ferris wheel, a beach and ice cream.

Two 12-year-old girls, Maia Hawkins and Josefina Santander, sang Christmas carols at the party.

Maia said they wanted to help make the day "special" for the children and their families.

Sebastian's Action Trust was set up by Jane Gates, whose nine-year-old son Sebastian died of cancer in 2003.

After years of fund-raising the trust set up the UK's only purpose-built respite holiday home, called The Bluebells, for terminally ill children and their families.

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