ULSTER Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson has hailed the recent Ben’s Tea Party, as a ‘real Christmas cracker.’
The party, held in the UUP MLA’s Constituency office, was in aid of Ben’s Fund, a local charity for two-year-old Waringstown boy Ben Johnston, with all funds going directly to parents and guardians of fully ventilated and trached children in Northern Ireland.
Mrs Dobson said: “It was amazing to see the crowds arriving at the office from early morning to help out and support this very worthy cause.
“Ben is an absolute inspiration – in his short life he has done so much to help others and his parents Ciara and Andy deserve recognition for help they are giving to others through this charity.
“When you have an ill child, and I have personal experience of this, you go through an impossible time. Your focus is totally on the health of your child and often day to day living can become a real strain.
“Any help whatsoever can make a huge difference and can ease the burden during what can be an extremely stressful time.
“The icing on the cake was our wonderful ‘live’ Christmas Carols fantastically sung and played by Diane Robinson from Banbridge Academy along with pupils Alice, Shannon and Hannah. They added so much to the festive spirit and Ben’s brother Leo was fantastic at entertaining us all when he took to the keyboard.
“I would like to personally thank everyone who helped to make the Tea Party such a huge success, including my own staff and David McKay, Community Champion from Tesco Banbridge who made a contribution towards the provisions.
“I would also extend my sincere gratitude to those local companies who donated prizes for the raffle, including: Heather Saunderson of Truly Gifted of Magheralin, Piggots Restaurant Banbridge, The Wool Box Lurgan, Beautiful You Beautician, Farmgate Meats Magheralin and Andy Ward Fitness Studios Banbridge.
“Donations are still coming in and anyone who wishes to make a donation can call into my Constituency office or contact us on 4066 9004.”