Fundraising news and initiatives across Kent

PUBLISHED: 19:54 11 July 2014 | UPDATED: 19:54 11 July 2014

Garden owner Lisa May with chYps patron Charlotte Hawkins and from chYps, Rachel Holweger and Candy Kitsz

Garden owner Lisa May with chYps patron Charlotte Hawkins and from chYps, Rachel Holweger and Candy Kitsz

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A sunny forecast for chYps and how one Kent youngster met her pop idol

Abigail and the Pop Princess

Photo caption: Abigail Bolt-Mead, Kylie and charity founder John Caudwell

A nine-year-old girl from Minster-on-Sea with spinal muscular atrophy got the chance to meet Kylie Minogue ahead of the Pop Princess’ show-stopping performance at Caudwell Children’s Butterfly Ball, held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

Abigail Bolt-Mead, who was selected to go on Caudwell Children’s Destination Dreams family holiday for children with life-threatening illnesses, was invited to attend the event in order to highlight the support that disabled children need.

The glitzy ball, hosted by Peter Andre and with guests who included Simon Cowell and the Duchess of York, is Caudwell Children’s, annual flagship fundraiser. Proceeds from the evening, which raised a record-breaking £2.5m thanks to a generously supported auction, enable the charity to provide practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.

A Good Morning for chYps

Photo caption: Garden owner Lisa May with patron Charlotte Hawkins and from chYps, Rachel Holweger and Candy Kitsz © David Bartholomew

The big news was sunshine with plenty of fundraising as ladies lunched with TV presenter Charlotte Hawkins at a Secret Garden event in aid chYps Children’s Hospice at Home, Kent Life’s charity of the year.

More than 60 guests enjoyed lunch with the TV presenter at a picturesque garden in Sevenoaks organised by owner Lisa May with the help of chYps Ambassadors Helen Von Trotsenburg and Candy Kitsz.

Charlotte, the latest chYps patron, shared her experiences of presenting from the Good Morning Britain sofa and also encouraged the guests to give generously to help chYps, part of charity EllenorLions Hospices, to provide end-of-life, cancer and respite care to poorly children in their own homes across Kent.

The journalist and TV presenter joins a group of fellow celebrities supporting the Secret Gardens initiative. Several others, including actress and fellow chYps Patron Cheryl Fergison, weather girl Kaddy Lee-Preston, TV presenter Laura Hamilton, TV gardening expert Tom Hart Dyke, Charlton Athletic footballer Danny Green and TV antiques expert Alison Chapman could be turning up to gardens throughout the summer.

A very healthy £5,000 was raised on the day, which brings the total amount raised for Secret Gardens to more than £8,000

There is still plenty of summer left for interested readers to open their gardens and help raise vital funds for Kent’s only children’s hospice at home – just contact Area Fundraiser Phil Dickman by email or call 01322 221 315. For more information about Secret Gardens opening in your area, please visit

Centre of Hope

National charity Tree of Hope is opening a specialist centre in Camden Road in Tunbridge Wells this September.

The centre will incorporate a coffee shop, treatment rooms for physiotherapy along with other types of specialist therapy. Half of the shop will be full of ‘funky stuff’ such as colourful crutches, vibrant wheelchair gloves and specialist toys provided by two of Tree of Hope’s offshoots Blossom for Children and Tumbling Furniture.

The other half of the shop will be dedicated to selling second-hand quality children’s products. The charity is now in urgent need of your donations of high-quality books, toys and clothing for children up to 18 years old.

All the profits from the shop will be put back into the charity to go towards helping more children and their families to have hope around the UK.

Please drop your donated items off at the Tree of Hope offices, 43A Little Mount Sion, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1YP. From July onwards Tree of Hope will be able to collect donations and larger items.

Cufflinks with a conscience

To mark the centenary of the start of the First World War in a stylish and distinctive manner, why not invest in a pair or three of these unique Centenary Flanders Fields cufflinks?

The Royal British Legion has commissioned the design and creation of the bespoke set to help us remember those who lost their lives.

The cufflinks have been created from the solid brass of original artillery shell fuses found on First World War battlefields. The shells have been melted down and cast into a hand-sculpted poppy design based on a 100-year-old dried and flattened real poppy from Private Len Smith’s diary.

Private Smith, a veteran who lived until 1974, plucked the poppy from No Man’s Land in 1915 and preserved it in his illustrated diary.

All income raised from sales goes directly to The Royal British Legion to support

British Armed Forces and their families, past, present and future.

Available exclusively from the Poppy Shop – – for £79.99.

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