Southwold: Puppets play part in Olympic charity bid

A SEASIDE businesswoman is hoping to have a hand in raising funds for a Suffolk charity.

Pam Jackson, who has run Southwold Boating Lakes and Caf� for the last 10 years, is spawning a crowd of colourful characters inspired by her new children’s book project - and she hopes a special selection of puppets will help generate money for a local medical fund.

Mrs Jackson, 51, from Reydon, is currently penning a book for children about the exploits enjoyed by a group of puppets when their creator’s back is turned.

The real-life knitted characters are lovingly made by Ann Forbes, who Mrs Jackson met during a weekend break in the Cotswolds and invited to help create a fanciful tale in which puppets come to life. “I saw Ann’s work at a fete and told her my idea for a storybook,” explained Mrs Jackson, who had at once found a perfect puppeteer and met the inspiration for her book’s Granny Annie character.

Mrs Jackson, who is due to hand over the running of the boating lakes at the end of this month after more than 10 years in charge, asked her friend to specially create a Jubilee Queen, and a set of Olympic torchbearers to be raffled off after the flame arrives in Southwold.

The proceeds will go towards the Solebay Care Fund, which provides funds for the medical and social needs of people in Reydon, Southwold, Walberswick, and the surrounding villages, that are not met by existing resources.

Mrs Jackson said: “We already have some characters at the boating lake, including hedgehogs and moles. Everyone thinks I’m a complete nutter!”

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“I’ve tested them out here on a few kids and they have gone down really well. One little boy was a bit tearful so I marched out one of the soldiers and it seemed to cheer him up.”

Raffle tickets are �1 each and available from the boating lakes. The draw will be made soon after the Olympic torch has visited Southwold on July 5.

Southwold boutique Collen and Clare are also looking after some knitted torchbearers and will be holding their own raffle to raise money for the fund.