Christmas has come early for a primary school in Denbighshire when mums when TV star and best-selling children’s author David Walliams responded to their plea for help.
The comedian got in touch immediately when he was contacted by mum-of-two Sian Canty, secretary of the Parent-Teacher Association at Ysgol y Llys in Prestatyn, asking if he could donate a prize for their Christmas raffle.
The prize draw is part of a series of fund-raising events at the school including their Hall of Stalls Christmas Craft and Gift Fayre on the evening of Wednesday, November 12.
Walliams’ latest children’s book, Awful Aunties, is currently riding high in the best-sellers’ chart. He has written seven children’s books in all including, Mr Stink, Demon Dentist and Gangsta Granny which has also been adapted for television.
Pop star Jesse J, who wowed the audience at the Access All Eirias pop concert in Old Colwyn, has also chipped in with a signed picture of herself.
Meanwhile, the Britain’s Got Talent judge and Little Britain star sent a signed copy of his hit children’s book, Gangsta Granny, a signed picture of himself and a handwritten note wishing the school all the best.
Sian said: “I’m sure celebrities like David are inundated with requests especially when they are as popular as him.
“At best, I was hoping his agent would send a signed picture and possibly a book but for him to send a hand-written personal note wishing us luck was really sweet and above and beyond the call of duty.
“Not only is he a supremely gifted comedian and children’s writer, he is also a real hero in my eyes for taking the time and trouble to help us in this way. We are all really chuffed.”
Sian was also very grateful to Snowdonia’s Zip World, the four-star Quay Hotel in Deganwy, Ribride, Greenwood Forest Park, Pavilion Theatre Rhyl and Tre-Ysgawen Hall Country House Hotel and Spa on Anglesey who have also donated prizes for their Secret Seven Auction. The PTA is aiming to raise £5,000 to help pay for a soft play area for the under-fives, books and a lighting rig for the main school hall.
She said: “Last year we raised more than £4,300 and we want to surpass that total this year with the help of the Secret Seven auction.
“The idea is people put down what they are willing to pay for each item without knowing what the other bids are. Then, the person who put down the biggest bid is the winner.”
She added: “It’s going to be a great evening which will hopefully; help the PTA raise much-needed funds so we can further support our excellent school. And of course, there will be mince pies and mulled wine on arrival, it’s important to get into the Christmas spirit!
“We also want to attract people who might have no connection with the school who might want to come along and look for a few special Christmas gifts. And of course, we also want to help local businesses in the run up to Christmas.”
Nikki Barlow, the chair of Ysgol y Llys PTA said: “Last year the PTA purchased digital cameras which children use to record some of their work and activities. The use of the cameras not only helps children record their work but ties in with the IT lessons as they also learn to use editing software.
“We also invested in more iPads which again are used by teachers to enhance lessons and improve pupils’ IT skills.”
She added: “The school has recently had an extension built and alongside that we need outside play equipment for children to use. Although we are always have an eye on the school’s wish list.
“The Christmas Fayre is one of our main fundraising events in the school year although we also have a summer fayre, an Easter bonnet competition and sell cakes at events such as the school’s sports day.
“And we run disco events for children and are hoping to hold a summer ball for parents and their guests next year.”
Headteacher Dyfan Phillips has nothing but praise for the hard work of the school’s PTA.
He said: “I’m sure the Hall of Stalls Christmas Fayre including the Secret Seven Silent Auction will be a wonderful event and raise a substantial sum of money which will be used in support of the school.
“The money raised by our hard-working PTA means we can purchase equipment that we might otherwise struggle to afford or have to wait a long time to acquire. This is equipment that we use to enhance lessons and as teaching aids.”
He added: “Members of the school’s PTA work exceptionally hard raising money throughout the year in support of the school. They deserve to be supported and I’m sure parents of all our children, and the wider Prestatyn community, will want to support our Christmas Fayre and Secret Seven Silent Auction event.”
The Hall of Stalls and Secret Seven Silent Auction will be held at Ysgol y Llys, Rhoddfa’r Tywysog, Prestatyn on Wednesday, November 12, from 6pm-9pm.
For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org via e-mail or ring the school on 01745 853019.