Haywards Heath community party raises £3000 for charity

A star studded community fun day raised more than £3000 for Great Ormond Street on Saturday.

One Great Day at the Orchards Shopping Centre was opened by Alejandro Fernandez-Holt, formerly of X Factor, Brian Capron, formerly Richard Hillman of Coronation Street and town mayor Sandy Ellis.

Alejandro said: “It was touching to see so many people giving their time and energy for this great cause and I consider myself privileged to have been part of it.”

Brian’s son, Louis, suffers from haemophilla and has been cared for by the hospital, whilst ten-year-old Toby Skerman, who has Complex Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, attended the event with his family.

Complex Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a genetically inherited connective tissue disorder which is both disabling and debilitating.

The connective tissues of the body stretch too much, causing instability of the joints, weak unsupportive muscles and internal organ dysfunction.

He also has Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction and suffers from constant pain and exhaustion.

While there is no cure, Toby has been helped by the Rheumatology Physiotherapy team at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Without this support, Toby’s life opportunities would be far fewer than they are now.

Toby’s mother, Sarah, said: “We cannot thank them enough for all they do for him.”

Since 1852, when it opened with just ten beds, Great Ormond Street Hospital has been providing dedicated care for children from across the UK, and all money raised was donated to the charity.

Alejandro added: “The day went really well, there were really nice and enthusiastic people and they genuinely cared.

“A fan turned friend actually attended the event who used to be a patient at Great Ormond Street hospital so I dedicated a song to her on the day.”

He sang Feeling Good, Superstition, Stay With Me and Hero.

The day featured bucking bronco competitions, a giant sculptured game called BuzzWire, Zumba and fitness classes.

Orchards’ manager Nicola Bird said: “The support of so many of our friends was just amazing. We’ve raised over £3,000 for Great Ormond Street and we couldn’t have done this without each and every one of them so a massive thank you to all.”

Donate to Great Ormond Street at donate.gosh.org