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Kindhearted pupils, Caroline Quentin and the Crouch End Festival Chorus in Muswell Hill are singing in a concert to help seriously ill children like brave 10-year-old Bella Northam.
The youngsters from Coldfall and Rhodes Avenue primary schools will perform at the Precious Moments Concert to raise money for the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice, treating Bella and other local children with life-threatening or life-limiting conditions. (promotional video)
Bella, from Crouch End, was diagnosed with a severe form of muscular dystrophy at the age of five.
She is now in a wheelchair, has to rely on a feeding tube, overnight ventilator and constant care.
She and her family will be at the concert at St James’s Church, Muswell Hill, to hear the schoolchildren sing a collection of carols and uplifting songs alongside the Crouch End Festival Chorus. The event will be hosted by actress Caroline Quentin.
"We are delighted to be helping in this way. The children feel very emotional about it and very moved to be helping other children."
Bella’s mother Ellie Northam, 44, said: “I think it is a really amazing thing for these pupils to do. It’s also really good for their education, trying to understand about other children who aren’t as fortunate as they are. It will be very uplifting for us.”
She described how the Noah’s Ark Hospice provided a “lifeline” to her family when Bella became ill. “We were absolutely exhausted and the strain was becoming too much to bear. But the hospice came along and stopped us from drowning.”
As well as helping with Bella’s everyday care, they also support her three siblings, Ben, 12, Olivia, nine, and Alexander, five. A family volunteer visits their home to play with the children and they are taken on fun trips and weekends away.
“Everyone who works at the hospice is amazing. They are full of energy and nothing phases them. They have helped us so much. Now they need to raise funds to help so many others,” said Mrs Northam.
She is supporting the Noah’s Ark Make a Memory Campaign, being launched at the concert to raise funds for a Noah’s Ark Hospice building.
During the campaign, the charity is asking people to donate money to create everlasting “precious memories” for its families.
Teacher Emily Gazzard, who runs the chamber choir at Rhodes Avenue school and has 50 Year 5 and 6 pupils are taking part, said: “We are delighted to be helping in this way. The children feel very emotional about it and very moved to be helping other children.”
Music teacher Kate Vetch, at Coldfall Primary School, said: “Singing is something that the school does every day. The children are delighted to be taking part. We feel the hospice is a very important local charity that helps local children.”
Ru Watkins, chief executive of the Barnet hospice, which cares for seriously ill children up to 19 years old, said: “We are really excited to have the involvement of local schools. Children helping other children is really powerful,”
The concert is at St James’s Church, Muswell Hill, on Thursday November 27. Tickets are available from noahsarkhospice.org.uk or call 02084498877 (adult ticket £15, child ticket £8)
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