Variety's Children's Summer Party 2019

On Sunday 7th July 2019, Variety, the Children’s Charity held a Children’s Summer Party at the Hotel Ambassadeur for 57 children and their siblings, parents and carers. A wonderful party lunch with desserts, including jelly of course, was enjoyed by everyone. DJ Lummy provided suitable music for children to dance to, Royston came along and absolutely delighted the children with his magic. He provided balloons so that all the children could make their own ‘balloon dog’. There were two face painters and the children who wished to had their faces painted. At the end of the party the children were given going home presents, Woody and Buzz Light Year for the boys and Shopkins and Jessicake dolls for the girls. And just in case the children still had space in their ‘pudding tummies’ they had an extra ice cream for on the way home.

This party was again sponsored by The Jersey Mutual Insurance Society to whom Variety are extremely grateful.

Variety at Work in June 2019

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As we expected, June was a busy month with the majority of the requests being for school uniforms and shoes along with some for food and baby items. At the request of a Health Visitor, we provided 3 car seats for a single parent Mum with 3 little ones. Also, at a Health Visitor’s request, we provided stair gates for a Mum whose flat is on three levels. We paid for 4 children from different schools to join the rest of their class on their French trip.

The totals for the month were 22 families with 46 children amounting to £3,391. 85.

Meet the Young Star of the Year 2019 Winners

Twenty four youngsters were recognised for their contributions to ‘Community’, ‘Caring’, ‘Sports’, ‘Arts and Academia’, including an 11-year-old who once saved his young brother’s life by reattaching his breathing tube when he had pulled it out.

They were chosen from a number of applications by a judging panel consisting of Lady Dalton, John Testori from Bambola Toymaster and Malcolm Lewis, Chairman of Longueville Manor. 

Sandra Auckland, Variety’s Joint Chief Barker and the Young Star of the Year Chair said: “This is such a humbling event and every year I am more and more amazed by these special youngsters in Jersey, they are our young stars and they all deserve this recognition. Their stories are always so poignant and inspirational. 

“Every finalist has demonstrated strength, hard work and dedication that are well beyond their years. It is so important, not only to recognise their past achievements, but also to encourage their future aspirations.”

Young Stars of the Year 2019

Young Stars of the Year 2019

Young Star of Courage Age 6-10 - Joshua Doyle (6)

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Joshua was only four when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour, following an eye appointment. He was flown to Southampton and had emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain. 

He then underwent another operation to try and remove the brain tumour which was followed by 10 weeks of chemotherapy.  A short while later, a scan showed the tumour had re-grown, so the young boy went into surgery again.

From June 2017 to May 2018, Joshua had 11 operations, numerous scans, x-rays, blood tests, 10 doses of chemotherapy and 28 sessions of radiotherapy. 

He was accepted on a drug trial in June 2018 and another scan revealed the tumour was shrinking. 

He was nominated by the Jersey Brain Tumour Charity who described him “as a wonderful boy who has shown such courage for someone so young. He takes everything in his stride and is a little ray of sunshine,” they said.

“Joshua has many challenges ahead of him, but he will face them with great courage and determination and a big smile on his face making him a very worthy Young Star of Courage,” Variety added.

Joshua Doyle - Young Star of Courage Age 6-10

Joshua Doyle - Young Star of Courage Age 6-10

Young Star of Courage Age 11-16 - Cerys Saunders (11)

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Read Cerys' story at https://www.varietyjersey.org.je/news/2019/6/10/and-the-winner-of-varietys-young-star-of-the-year-2019nbspis .

Young Star of Community - Emily Bridge (16)

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Since the age of 12, Emily has been volunteering at the Jersey Hospice Care Pre-Shop at St. Ouen. Recently, she even covered a shift at Clarkson House where patients come in for day services as they were short staffed. 

She joined St. John’s Ambulance three years ago, an experience which has given her more confidence. She has given up her free time to assist on duties at many community and charity events including The State Street Island Walk, The Boat Show, Jersey Marathon and Relay for Life. 

She has completed over 100 hours of voluntary work for the charity and has attended a number of residential courses to develop her skills. 

Emily has also volunteered at Beaulieu Convent Primary School assisting in a number of roles such as helping the younger pupils with their reading, digital skills and art activities.

Emily Bridge - Young Star of Community

Emily Bridge - Young Star of Community

Young Star as Carer - Riley Hansford (11)

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Riley was nominated by his parents and his younger brother, Nixon, who has had very complicated needs since his birth.

Riley was only four when Nixon was born and spent a year in hospital. His parents had to alternately go to the UK with him, but Riley never felt rejected or displayed any negative emotions towards Nixon. 

From the start, he was overwhelmed with love and wanted to be his ‘protector’. Riley saved his brother’s life once when he put Nixon’s breathing tube back in his neck when Nixon pulled it out, before opening the door for the ambulance team who were called in.

Riley regularly helps feed Nixon and give him his medication and he is always at his bedside when he is in hospital, reassuring his brother and playing with him (on Nixon’s terms). 

The young boy also helps his brother dress and put on his ventilation mask. 

“These are acts of kindness and support that Riley chooses to do, he is a great brother, carer and most importantly, Nixon’s best friend,” Variety said.

Riley Hansford - Young Star as Carer

Riley Hansford - Young Star as Carer

Young Star of Academia - Ryan Fernandes (16)

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Ryan is not letting lupus – an autoimmune disease which causes the immune system to attack – get in the way of his studies. 

He is working towards completion of his GCSEs with plans to progress to further education, despite having to take a lot of time off school, due to his condition.

He frequently has to attend hospital appointments and to deal with the “incurable, complex disease” and its unpredictable symptoms, which include severe fatigue.

Ryan remains determined to attend school and has continued to try his best in PE and enjoys football. He is always very smartly dressed and always has a smile even when experiencing worries and anxieties. 

Ryan’s teacher at Haute Vallee nominated him as she thought he was very deserving for the award of Young Star of Academia.

 

Young Star of Sports - Lexi Farrell (9)

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Lexi was nominated by the Chief Instructor from the Jersey Kenpo Karate Centre of Excellence where she is one of the top students. 

She has achieved the best rank of “brown belt” and won three Gold medals in the International / European Championships in Dusseldorf, Germany late last year.

Lexi’s achievement are made even more impressive by the fact she has a condition called Chiari malformation, which means her brain is too big for her head and pushes down into her spinal column.

She started experiencing symptoms at six months and could have 10 to 15 seizures a day at the time.

After being diagnosed with the condition, she went through an operation to remove a piece of her skull to make more room for her brain. Today, she still suffers from seizures but they are not as frequent.

Her nominator said that Lexi is “very brave, respectful, disciplined and an outstanding student. She is very worthy to be recognised as the Young Star of Sports.”

Lexi Farrell - Young Star of Sports

Lexi Farrell - Young Star of Sports

Young Star of the Arts - Olivia Raphael (16)

Sponsored by Barker Tony and Mrs Pat Furzer

Olivia was nominated by her GCSE dance teacher who praised her remarkable talent.

Described as a "motivated and a passionate dancer", Olivia was also said to have an "outstanding work ethic and dedication in all lessons and rehearsals."

Olivia has represented Le Rocquier School and Jersey at many competitions including the Dance World Cup, Jersey Eisteddfod and in the annual Le Rocquier School Dance Show. 

She is a versatile dancer and has gained experience, skill and knowledge in a wide range of dance styles. 

She is also an inspirational dance teacher to the younger pupils within the school community. 

Olivia hopes to complete a dance degree and become a professional dancer in the future. Her dance teacher strongly believes the incredible drive and determination she possesses will lead her to success. 

“Olivia has also demonstrated admirable levels of courage and resilience as her mother is unwell, and she has taken on the role of a young carer providing help and support to the best of her ability. Olivia is very much a Young Star of the Arts.” 

Olivia Raphael - Young Star of the Arts

Olivia Raphael - Young Star of the Arts

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And the winner of Variety's Young Star of the Year 2019 is...

Cerys Saunders (11)

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Cerys, from birth, has been a fighter with many trips to hospital in both Jersey and Southampton to treat her for Cardimyopathy and Severe Pulmonary and Aortic Stenosis. When she was 10 she underwent major surgery, which must have been very frightening for her and no one knew what the outcome would be and what her future would hold. Because of her resilience and inner strength she stopped pain killers within a couple of days of her operation and she was able to fly home after a week as her recovery had been so quick. It is not known what the long-term will bring for Cerys but for now she is remaining bright and positive.

The Judges felt that this courageous young girl has had to face so many difficult challenges in her short life, she has shown such determination and her resilience and inner strength have been amazing. And to not know what the future holds, yet she remains bright and positive. The Judges felt that she truly deserved to be this year’s winner as she is the epitomy of taking the title of – Variety’s Young Star of the Year 2019.

"Children are the future generation – we must celebrate them" - Colin MacLeod

2018 Young Star of the Year - Milo Baudains

2018 Young Star of the Year - Milo Baudains

Every year Variety – the Children’s Charity of Jersey hold the Young Star of the Year Awards, to recognise and celebrate those children within our community who go out of their way to support our local community and their families. These children make a real difference to the lives of others and their achievements inspire us.

Some years ago, Variety approached me and asked if The Channel Islands Co-operative Society would be willing to support the awards and it didn’t take me long to agree. After all, ‘making a difference’ is at the heart of everything we do.

Your Society have been proud sponsors of these awards for the past nine years and we believe that these children, and the fantastic work Variety does, should not only be celebrated but shouted from the rooftops…

The future of our community is our children which is why I am proud to work alongside such an important charity which does so much for the Island’s children – our future generation.

We're proud to sponsor Variety's Young Star of the Year Awards. Watch to see why last year's winner, Milo, thinks you should nominate a young person.

The Variety at Work programme financially supports Islanders in need:

Variety at Work is the welfare part of the charity which helps support families financially who may be struggling to buy items such as school uniform, funding for school trips, food, nappies, bedding and specialist equipment.

Jeanette Pinel, who runs the Variety at Work programme which directly supports Islanders in need, said that these children are the ‘most vulnerable children in the most distressing and sad situations.’

Last year the charity, which is part of a worldwide organisation, has also provided carpets for children’s bedrooms, washing machines, cookers and a fridge to those without the income to buy these essential items. They have paid for children to join holiday clubs when their parents were ill or in hospital and they have supported a little girl recover from a brain injury.

Last year Variety spent £50,000 to help 327 families, including 702 children. The charity rely entirely on donations and sponsorship from local businesses.

Here Sandra Auckland, joint chief barker of the Jersey charity, explains why the Variety Young Star of the Year Awards are so important:

Milo, last year’s winner, cares for his mum on a daily basis and he thinks he’s like every other child. These children, like Milo, deserve to be appreciated and for others to say ‘thank you.’ There is one girl we awarded who volunteers over 100 hours for St John’s ambulance and she helps at the Hospice shop. It’s amazing what she does for the community.

The awards are such a lovely event and it’s wonderful that all the finalists’ families come along for their special day.

Last year Jersey’s Lieutenant Governor, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton and Lady Dalton came to the event and they were so blown away by it that they asked us to come and hold the awards at Government House this year.

The awards are now in their ninth year and without our sponsors this event wouldn’t be possible. The Co-op’s (and Colin’s) support has been fantastic throughout and together we have seen the awards ceremony grow to what it is now.

What is Variety?

Variety is an international charity which was started in Pittsburg, America. A group of performers were playing cards backstage after a performance and they heard a baby crying. They then discovered a one-month-old girl who had a note pinned to her dress.

The note said: ‘Please take care of my baby. Her name is Catherine. I can no longer take care of her. I have eight others. My husband is out of work. She was born on Thanksgiving Day. I have always heard of the goodness of show business people and pray to God that you will look after her.

Signed a heart-broken mother.’

The group paid for the little girl’s education whose name was Catherine Variety Sheridan and is where the name of the charity comes from. The story made front pages across America and the charity has grown since then and is now helping children across the world.

The Variety Young Star of the Year Awards take place at Government House on Sunday 9 June.

Sandra ends: ‘I have been involved with Variety for 30 years. My dad was always involved with charities and had a pot of money on his shop counter and whenever money was needed he would help local people. I would love him to see what I am doing now. I like to think I am following in my dad’s footsteps.’

Variety at Work in May 2019

During May, we had the usual requests for uniforms, shoes, baby items and food. We also provided a washing machine for a single parent with three children. At the request of a Health Visitor, we paid for carpets for two children’s bedrooms.

We also contributed towards school trips for six children. This is so worthwhile as for many children this is the only opportunity for them to experience travel. 

The totals for the month of April are 19 families with 41 children amounting to £3,132.28.

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This years Children’s Summer Party will be on Sunday 7th July from 12.30 to 3.00 p.m. The Jersey Mutual Insurance Society have again very generously sponsored this event. The invitations have gone out and the entertainment organised for what promises to be another super party.

Only three weeks until Variety's Young Star of the Year

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In just under 3 weeks, Variety’s Young Star of the Year 2019 will be named at the prestigious Awards Ceremony which is being held at Government House. It is going to be a memorable event with 24 shortlisted youngsters and their families attending.

We are so fortunate to have His Excellency Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton and Lady Dalton as our Patrons and for them to present the top award this year.

More details can be found at https://www.varietyjersey.org.je/projects or by calling the Variety Office on 856937.

Variety at Work in April 2019

At the request of Health Visitors and Social Workers there were ten requests for food and three requests for uniform, baby clothes and shoes. We also bought a set of bunk beds, a single bed, bedding and pillows for a family who were moving house. We paid for nine days holiday care and contributed to childcare fees. We also paid towards one school trip.

The Crew agreed to pay one month’s emergency rent for a family and make a £500 donation towards a new minibus for St Martins Primary School.

The totals for the month of April are 20 families with 57 children amounting to £3,512. 85.

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This years Children’s Summer Party will be on Sunday 7th July from 12.30 to 3.00 p.m. The Jersey Mutual Insurance Society have again very generously sponsored this event. The invitations will go out at the beginning of June and the entertainment has been reserved.