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Jessica's birthday gift for hospices

PUBLISHED: 06:13 17 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:18 24 February 2010

JESSICA Weal enjoyed her sixth birthday party with 30 of her best friends at the weekend – but the popular youngster did not receive a single present.

Instead, big-hearted Jessica, from Kings Way, Mildenhall, made a remarkable gesture by sacrificing all her gifts to help terminally ill children.

JESSICA Weal enjoyed her sixth birthday party with 30 of her best friends at the weekend – but the popular youngster did not receive a single present.

Instead, big-hearted Jessica, from Kings Way, Mildenhall, made a remarkable gesture by sacrificing all her gifts to help terminally ill children.

She decided she wanted to help raise money after meeting fundraisers from the East Anglia's Children's Hospices(EACH) during an annual charity weekend at Snetterton race track last November.

During the meeting she heard the plight of the terminally ill children who are cared for at hospices in East Anglia.

She then had the idea of asking all her friends who attended her party held at Barton Mills village hall on Saturday to give her money. Instead of buying herself an extravagant gift with the £200 she received, she is now donating it all to the EACH organisation.

Her proud mother Lisa said: "Last year she got so many presents we said she should give some to charity next time. When we were at Snetterton she saw the stand for the hospices and decided she wanted to do something to help the children.

"Jessica is a very thoughtful child and we want her to realise how fortunate she is. I think she is pleased with herself for raising so much."

Her father Jonathan said: "We are very proud of her, she has not moaned once at having to give up her presents. She actually received £157, but we are going to make it up to £200."

As a special treat for Jessica, her parents did buy her a pet Guinea Pig and hired a clown to perform at her party.

Jessica said: "I feel all right about giving up my presents because I wanted to help the other children. I feel quite proud," but after a moment's reflection she added: "I want presents next year."

EACH spokesman Robin Sharp said: "We are always grateful for support and donations to help us give specialist care to the children and families who use our hospices. It is particularly pleasing when a child is prepared to give up something to help children in less happy circumstances."


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