The Mayor of Merton, Councillor Agatha Akyigyina, invited supported families at Shooting Star Chase to a special afternoon tea – which featured Santa Claus himself!

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Eight Shooting Star Chase children and their families attended the event in the Mayor’s Parlour on Monday 15th December, and were welcomed by Christmas music, festive decorations and a buffet of treats.

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Father Christmas gave out bags of presents to the children, which were kindly donated by Paul Strank and his wife Irene, of Paul Strank Roofing Ltd – a big supporter of the charity. OneLife, a London based Charity who provide essential life skills to young people through DJ, music and film production academies, also came along and entertained the children and their siblings with games and activities on their iPads.

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The Mayor of Merton has been a big supporter of Shooting Star Chase since her family used the services of the charity during her daughter’s illness. Agatha’s daughter, Suzannah, sadly died at Christopher’s Children’s Hospice in 2007 aged 18 and the Mayor has been involved in fundraising for the charity ever since.

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Sian, who uses Christopher’s and was a close friend of Suzannah, said: “I was friends with Suzannah for 12 years and I still miss her. Suzannah would be so proud of what Agatha has put on today. It’s been a great afternoon and it’s been lovely to meet everyone – and it’s my first time in a Mayor’s Parlour!”

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Councillor Agatha Akyigyina said: “We’ve had a fantastic afternoon and I’ve loved seeing the children and their families enjoy the festivities, it’s been really special. I’m grateful to Paul and Irene and OneLife for their contributions and help on the day. Shooting Star Chase is a charity close to my heart and it’s important to me that I do what I can to raise vital funds for them. They are one of my charities of the year and it’s an absolute pleasure to support them.”

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