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Norwich pub digs deep to help sick girl

PUBLISHED: 07:23 01 June 2010 | UPDATED: 16:57 01 July 2010

Amy O'Herlihy, Sadie Last, Carla Loates, Kirsty Lambert and Paige Carrigan at the Maids Head

Amy O'Herlihy, Sadie Last, Carla Loates, Kirsty Lambert and Paige Carrigan at the Maids Head

Kate Scotter

A pub on the outskirts of Norwich had its busiest day in history as hundreds of regulars rallied together to raise funds for a poorly toddler.

A pub on the outskirts of Norwich had its busiest day in history as hundreds of regulars rallied together to raise funds for a poorly toddler.

More than 500 people joined in the activities at the Maids Head in Spixworth Road, Old Catton, on Sunday to help raise money for sick tot Ella-Grace Honeyman.

Scores of youngsters took part in a sponsored walk around Old Catton Park, raising more than £1,000, and Justin Waller braved having his chest waxed.

Meanwhile, men and women fought it out to see who could wash the most cars and diners tucked into a hog roast.

Ella-Grace was there to start off the walk and help the fundraising efforts.

Lynn Carrigan, landlady, said: “It was absolutely fantastic. You couldn't believe how so many got together to have a good time, it was amazing.

“The bar staff worked harder than they've ever had to in their lives and the pub had its busiest day in its history.”

More than £2,000 was raised for the Ella-Grace Fund at Sunday's event, taking the pub's total to more than £8,500 for the cause to date.

The money will go towards helping two-year-old Ella-Grace undergo high risk surgery in America. The little girl, from Hevingham, near Aylsham, has the rare condition vein of Galen malformation and is scheduled to have a sixth operation to seal leaking blood vessels in her brain on July 1.

The family must find £40,000 for each operation and at the start of May they said they had about £30,000.

Other activities at Sunday's event included a bouncy castle, face painting, table top stalls and live music.

Ms Carrigan said: “Lots of the regulars pitched in and helped out. There was a cake stall and lots of people baked cakes. Everyone did their bit to make it a fantastic day.

“It was nice to see Ella-Grace here and I think more people were putting money in the tins and buckets because they could see her and see how the money would benefit her as she's not very well now but hopefully will be soon.

“The day wouldn't have been the same without her, she really lifted the atmosphere.”

To give to the Ella-Grace fund, contact Steve Read on 07949 871013 or 01603 722294 or visit www.lifeforellagracefund.co.uk

The Evening News has urged people to support their local pub through its Love Your Local campaign. To read previous stories, go to www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal

Have you helped breathe new life into a city pub? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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