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'We wanted to help them make memories' - free pumpkin event for poorly and special needs kids

PUBLISHED: 11:35 20 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:35 20 October 2019

From left to right: Crystal Barbe, event organiser, Gina Long founder of GeeWizz and Jade Perry, event organiser. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

From left to right: Crystal Barbe, event organiser, Gina Long founder of GeeWizz and Jade Perry, event organiser. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

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Hundreds of disabled, special needs or poorly children have enjoyed the seasonal highlight of picking their own pumpkin thanks to a free charity event.

The family friendly event invited families with children and young adults with life-threatening conditions so they could have a memorable day with their families. Picture: Victoria PertusaThe family friendly event invited families with children and young adults with life-threatening conditions so they could have a memorable day with their families. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

The GeeWizz Charity Pumpkin Patch and Maize Maze near Bury St Edmunds has returned this year after raising more than £15,000 in 2018 to help such children and young adults.

At the launch event at Hall Farm, Fornham St Martin, yesterday more than 200 youngsters enjoyed a memorable day with their families, choosing a pumpkin and drinking hot chocolate.

It is thought to be the first "100% to charity" pumpkin patch in the UK, with organisers only suggesting families make a donation. There are no entry fees or charges for a pumpkin.

Organiser Jade Perry, from the GeeWizz charity, said: "We wanted them to make the memories which is very rare for them sometimes, but not feel like there's a financial constraint on it."

Kids enjoyed running around the Maize Maze finding the special scarecrows on the trail. Picture: Victoria PertusaKids enjoyed running around the Maize Maze finding the special scarecrows on the trail. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

She added: "They really enjoyed the maize maze. Companies had kindly created scarecrows, which we put in the maze. They also really enjoyed picking the pumpkins.

"We had a lot of comments about how they had never had the opportunity to enjoy events like this because of the large crowds. That was really lovely to hear because that was exactly what we wanted."

10,000 seeds were planted at Hall Farm earlier this year, donated by Tozer Seeds, in preparation for the event.

Generous support from local companies means that costs are extremely low, and 100% of donations will go directly to the families and schools supported by the charity, based in Bury St Edmunds.

Children enjoyed face painting as well as the maize maze and the pumpkin patch. Picture: Victoria PertusaChildren enjoyed face painting as well as the maize maze and the pumpkin patch. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

The private viewing event was sponsored by Treatt plc.

-The event is now open to the public and will run until Sunday, October 27.

Kids also enjoyed picking up pumpkins for Halloween. Picture: Victoria PertusaKids also enjoyed picking up pumpkins for Halloween. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

From left to right: Crystal Barbe, event organiser, Gina Long founder of GeeWizz and Jade Perry, event organiser. Picture: Victoria PertusaFrom left to right: Crystal Barbe, event organiser, Gina Long founder of GeeWizz and Jade Perry, event organiser. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Andrea, Alfie and Ellitott Denny enjoyed the GeeWizz Charity Pumpkin Patch & Maize Maze. Picture: Victoria PertusaAndrea, Alfie and Ellitott Denny enjoyed the GeeWizz Charity Pumpkin Patch & Maize Maze. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Kids enjoyed running around the Maize Maze finding the special scarecrows on the trail. Picture: Victoria PertusaKids enjoyed running around the Maize Maze finding the special scarecrows on the trail. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Kids enjoyed running around the Maize Maze finding the special scarecrows on the trail. Picture: Victoria PertusaKids enjoyed running around the Maize Maze finding the special scarecrows on the trail. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Jade Perry, Elliott and Alfie Denny. Picture: Victoria PertusaJade Perry, Elliott and Alfie Denny. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Jade Perry, Event Organiser  of the GeeWizz Charity Pumpkin Patch & Maize Maze. Picture: Victoria PertusaJade Perry, Event Organiser of the GeeWizz Charity Pumpkin Patch & Maize Maze. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

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