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A Hospice Fit for the Future

A letter from the CEO

Earlier this year Claire House put together a bid for government funding to modernise its facilities. We were partly successful in this bid and have since secured a further funding which will enable us to carry out significant improvements, all with the aim of ensuring that Claire House and its facilities are fit for the future. In order to establish what was needed we found an excellent architect, Gilling Dod, to steer us through the process, and held a number of consultation days in September 2012 and June this year. This input helped us to prioritise what we might be able to achieve. Firstly, we needed to ensure that the entrance to the building was right, so there will be a new reception area which we hope will help to make Claire House an even more open and friendly place to visit, particularly for families coming for the first time which can be an intensely difficult step to take. It will also allow us to improve our wheelchair access and our security, as well as being the face of Claire House which every visitor will experience. Children’s bedrooms also needed a facelift, with a more modern feel and improved infection control (which is particularly important as many of the children who come to Claire House have reduced immunity). 2 of the bedrooms will also be made bigger.

The dining room is being made larger, which is important as powered wheelchairs need plenty of space to be able to move around, and the neighbouring Teenage Den is being moved to the teenage end of the building to free up the current space to be used by younger children. Finally, the children’s activity lounge will also get a facelift – again we have had a lot of feedback from families regarding the facilities their children like to use, so we’ll be doing our best to make their dreams come true! As we are not employing additional staff as a result of these improvements, it is a very cost effective way of enhancing the care we are able to provide. As ever, it is our on-going costs of employing the very best nurses and carers which remains our biggest challenge. We hope that all of the improvements will be complete by the end of May next year - and we’re really looking forward to showing you around. David Pastor CEO

Amazingly, although counselling and family support have always been a very important part of our work, we have never had any bespoke space. This is now being rectified with the creation of two new counselling areas – one smaller individual space and one for group work. This will really enhance what we are able to offer and it’s a facility that has been particularly requested by families.

Editor: Lauren Knights laurenK@claire-house.

Advertising & Sales: Mike Smith, Dave Atkinson, Graham Stazicker

Editorial assistant: Robert Muldoon, Sam Mooney

Photography: Amy Faith

Design & Layout: Robert May Advert Design Greg Boulton

Special thanks to our families and also volunteer photographers at the Splash Dash for their amazing images

Claire House Magazine Published quarterly by Elite Publications Ltd 34 Norfolk Street, Liverpool, L1 0BE Web: Phone: 0151 343 0883 Email:


Contents 8

Meet the Lomax Family Emily, who was born with severe cerebral palsy, is always smiling away when at Claire House


Click, Buy, Donate


Garden Design Gets Bloomin’ Good Results

Claire House charity shop stock now available on eBay

Claire House takes gold at Southport Flower Show


The VIP Treatment at Marco’s New Restaurant Claire House gets invite to launch of patron Marco Pierre White’s new place


A Night to Remember…


Give As You Live


A Splash Dash Liverpool ONE Makeover

Fashion shoot with Claire House supporters The Editeur

A shopaholics way of raising money for Claire House

A very special colour themed experience for one of the children at Claire House


One Dress, 30 Days


Liverpool Duck Race


Fundraising Photos


Event Listings


Registered Charity Number 1004058

A Beauty Queen’s novel approach to fashion in aid of Claire House

The celebs turn out to make race a quacking success

Thanking everybody for their support of Claire House in recent months

How you can get involved in Claire House activities throughout the autumn

Did You Know?

• The hospice relies on

fundraising; its target every year is £2.7million. That’s about £6,500 every single day. We rely on your support to help us meet this target.

• Claire House currently • Claire House officially opened

in 1998 and since then has cared for nearly 600 families whose children suffer from complex and life-limiting medical conditions.

• Claire House currently looks

after 160 children, young people and their families from across Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales, West Lancashire and the Isle of Man.

• The hospice doesn’t just look

after children; Claire House cares for young people up to the age of 23, with specially adapted bedrooms, a ‘den’ with a bar and karaoke and trips shopping, to the cinema or to the local pub for a pint.

employs over 100 people, including nurses, play therapists, events managers, fundraisers, cooks, music therapists, shop managers and drivers. The hospice also has hundreds of volunteers from all walks of life, ranging from students and Duke of Edinburgh candidates, to young professionals and mums with a bit of time on their hands.

• Claire House runs 26 charity

shops across its catchment area; they represent the hospice in the local community. The shops are run mainly by volunteers and bring in over £400,000 in profit for the hospice every year.

• We opened three new shops this year – in Ellesmere Port, St Helens and Irby. You can

find out more about them by visiting uk/go-shopping or calling 0151 343 0883.

• Every bag of unwanted clothes,

toys or bric-a-brac you donate to our shops is worth £10 to Claire House Children’s Hospice.

• This magazine goes out to

14,000 Claire House supporters to let you know how your money is spent and keep you in touch with your local children’s hospice.

• We struggle to thank everyone for their amazing generosity but please know, whoever you are and however you have given us your support, we are truly grateful.

• You can follow Claire House on and Twitter @ClaireHouse or visit for more information on the work of the hospice.



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Meet… The Lomax Family

Emily, who was born with severe cerebral palsy, is always smiling away when at Claire House Claire House Children’s Hospice is a haven for the children, young people and families who come here. Our expert care team work hard to provide relief and support, not only from pain and discomfort for a child with a complex medical condition, but breathing space for parents who haven’t had a good nights’ sleep in years or an outlet for brothers and sisters to talk about their family life. But when your child is diagnosed with a severe illness, while organisations like Claire House are always there to offer support, dealing with the medical aspects is only the tip of the iceberg. When Emily was born, her parents Andy and Hardesh Lomax from Speke thought they were completely prepared; the nursery was decorated; they’d stocked up on nappies and wet wipes and were excited for their new arrival. But when Emily arrested and collapsed shortly after a healthy birth and was later diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy, the family was thrown a curve ball. As well as the emotional impact of having an ill child, the Lomax family had to cope with the financial implications of caring for Emily. Emily’s condition meant


she would be confined to a wheelchair, unable to talk or feed herself. Her complex condition has seen her have countless hospital admissions, surgeries and tests, including most recently a procedure to remove her salivary glands to help keep chest infections at bay. With his daughter requiring roundthe-clock care, Andy was forced to give up work in his business and once their savings ran out, he struggled to accept living on benefits. “My business was part of my identity so to lose it was heart breaking. I wanted to be able to support my family and realising I would have to rely on benefits to do that was really hard”, explained Andy. Fortunately, since the early days of her diagnosis and some life-saving bowel surgery, Emily’s health has been more stable and this lively little 11-year old spends most of her time smiling away from her buggy, enchanting everyone she meets. That doesn’t mean that she and her family don’t face problems every day. Andy says; “Emily’s room is in an adapted area of our home, so we don’t have to negotiate the stairs

when taking her to bed or to the bathroom. As it’s an extension and the central heating won’t reach that far, we have electric oil heaters to keep the room warm. For extended periods, especially in winter, the cost of heating Emily’s room and keeping her and her carers comfortable is astronomical.

Emily with her mum and dad Andy and Hardesh

“We also like to take Emily out and about as much as we can and she loves meeting people. Emily also has lots of appointments and our adapted vehicle, a large van to accommodate her wheelchair, costs us around £80 every week in diesel fuel. Emily is the most wonderful, smiley little girl and she brings us so much happiness but unfortunately, we get very little support financially, so all the extra financial implications of caring for her are a huge strain.” One place the Lomax family can rely on for support is Claire House Children’s Hospice. Emily

has been enjoying breaks at the hospice for around eight years and as well as supporting Andy and Hardesh, the hospice supports their other two children Jacob, 12, and Sammy, 9, with events and activities where they

meet other families and receive counselling, should they need it.


Jacob and Sam both adore their sister!

“Coming to Claire House is such a relief and for a couple of days, we can just enjoy being a family and forget about the other pressures that surround us. The support of the hospice and knowing Emily is being cared for has also given me the head-space to begin to rekindle my former business. I’m really excited about the steps I’ve been able to make to re-start a business and having Claire House take some of the pressure off us as parents and carers has been fantastic. It’s also wonderful to see Emily so happy and content and smiling away when she comes to the hospice.” The generosity of our supporters in helping us raise the £2.7 million it takes to look after Emily and the many other children and young people like her, means that Andy and Hardesh 10

pay nothing to use the facilities of the hospice. The Lomax boys also get to enjoy days out with other brothers and sisters whose siblings come to Claire House, so Andy and Hardesh can have a break and enjoy time together. Your support, whether it’s via donation, shopping in our Claire House shops, volunteering, or attending an event, means we can keep the doors of Claire House open, providing the home from home environment that families have come to rely on.

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Click, Buy, Donate Claire House charity shop stock now available on eBay

You can now pick up the very best of the stock donated to us through our charity shops at the click of a button, thanks to our brand new eBay page. All of the stock for the site has been generated from our 26 shops across Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales and from the donations given in directly to us at the Fundraising Centre. All of the proceeds from the sales will come directly to Claire House through eBay. High-end, collectable or large items including pool tables, bikes and household appliances will all feature on


the site, with 100% of the sale price supporting the work of Claire House.

been set-up, so keep an eye out over the coming months for some fantastic buys.”

Michaela Naughalty, Retail Assistant Administrator, said: “We’ve got all sorts on offer on our new official eBay page, from hoovers to antique ornaments, fur coats to unique prints, we’ve got it all. The account has just

“We’re always here to answer any questions you have about any of the items on sale or any other issues regarding the page, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.”



Garden Design Gets Bloomin’ Good Results

Claire House takes gold at Southport Flower Show

Claire House was celebrating when a garden exhibit, designed to replicate the beautiful grounds of the hospice, won a gold award at the prestigious Southport Flower Show. The garden, entitled Precious Moments, was created by Southport Area Fundraiser Lynn Taylor and a dedicated group of volunteers with the help of Crosby Landscapes and Experian. The space was designed to replicate the garden area at Bebington-based Claire House Children’s Hospice, featuring a play house, giant painted penguin, a teddy bear’s picnic area and many colourful and sensory flowers.

links, with volunteers spending hours in the lead up to the show creating the green-fingered master piece. The team was awarded with an £800 donation to Claire House by Southport Flower Show patron David Ballamy. Lynn, from Hoylake, said; “Our objective of the garden was to raise awareness of the work of Claire House Children’s Hospice and what a peaceful, happy and vibrant place it is.

from all over the North West, from Chester and North Wales, all the way up to Southport, so it was great to have a presence at the region’s best-loved flower show.” Lynn added: “Our gold award is testament to all the hard work by our volunteers and Crosby Landscapes for bringing our horticulture vision to life. I’d like to say a huge thank you to them for their support.”

“Claire House cares for families

The garden was awarded gold by the judges at the Southport Flower Show who praised its creativity and strong community 15

Claire House gets the VIP Treatment at Marco’s New Restaurant

Children and staff from Claire House Children’s Hospice were among the VIPs who attended a special lunch event hosted by renowned chef, Marco Pierre White, at his restaurant, Marco’s New York Italian, in Hoylake. The occasion also marked Marco’s first visit to the restaurant since its recent rebrand. Guests were treated to a delicious menu of Italian/American classics, put together by Marco himself especially for the occasion. Marco, who is a patron of Claire House, visited the hospice earlier in the day before welcoming back some of the children, their families, and carers to the restaurant for a sumptuous three-course treat. Speaking about the hospice, which


is located on the Wirral, Marco said: “I take my role as patron of the hospice very seriously, and wear the title with the upmost pride. The hospice is such a remarkable place, and every time I visit I am overwhelmed by the people I meet there. They are all heroes.” Clair Bedford, Relationships Manager at the hospice, commented:

“Marco has done so much for the hospice over the last few years as patron, and whenever he visits us it always creates a buzz around the place and gives us a real boost. Today’s event was such a lovely occasion, and a wonderful way of treating some of the children, as well as their families and staff, who all work tirelessly.”


A NIGHT TO REMEMBER... As Claire House looks towards the festive season, be inspired with these stunning party looks to take you from cocktail party to Winter Wonderland Ball‌

Photos by Amy Faith Wardrobe: The Editeur, 36 Bridge Street Row, Chester Stylists: Amelia Fraser at The Editeur and Lauren Knights Make Up and Hair: Lucy Mckeown at Cast Models Model: Laila Wallace 18



Cambridge Road Community Primary & Nursery School We aim to provide a full educational entitlement where every child receives quality opportunities and experiences, in order to develop to their full potential within a secure and happy environment. Cambridge Road, Ellesmere Port Cheshire CH65 4AQ Telephone: 0151 355 1735 E-mail:

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Established Excellence

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Headteacher: Ms Rebekah Phillips | Woodchurch High School | Carr Bridge Road, Wirral, CH49 7NG t: 0151 677 5257 | f: 0151 678 1906 | |

Another hugely successful year for pupils at Woodchurch High School, with the school achieving its best ever 5 A*-C! This year a staggering 93% of pupils reached this benchmark, underlining the schools motto – Established Excellence. Headteacher Rebekah Phillips said, ‘I am so proud of the achievements of all our pupils, they have worked so hard and thoroughly deserve these tremendous results, which are down to their hard work and efforts over the last five years. I wish all our Year 11 pupils every success in their post-16 destination routes. I would also like to thank the staff of the school, who a tireless in their efforts to develop and support all our pupils’. Woodchurch High is a school that offers a traditional education, located at the heart of a modern and dynamic peninsula. Having moved in to a state of the art purpose built school, with all the very latest facilities, including a school farm and a 3G pitch, these outstanding facilities enable all pupils at the school to achieve at least their full potential. Last year, there have been many notable achievements, including being the winners of the Wirral Football Cup, Your Future’, reaching once again the National Finals in Young Shepherd of the Year Award, as well as being given the opportunity to display pupils work in a host of venues, both regionally and nationally. The future looks even more exciting for the school, as it seeks to acquire full Church of England status and develop its nationally recognised success in the training of teachers. The school is holding its usual round of Open Days and Evenings this coming Autumn, although prospective parents are encouraged to visit the school at any mutually convenient time and see the school in action, as well as to discover for themselves what makes Woodchurch different.

There has never been a better time to join Woodchurch High School – Wirral’s favourite school, attracting pupils from across the peninsula!


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With special thanks to Annabelle and Sam. All looks are available at The Editeur, who kindly support Claire House Children’s Hospice. Visit or call 01244 400 318. For more information on the Claire House Christmas Events Calendar, visit or call 0151 343 0883. 27

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Every school offers a child something different; choosing the right one is an important decision and parents must be confident that it will suit their child’s personality and needs. At Capenhurst we pride ourselves on offering a calm and stimulating learning environment where everyone is known, respected and valued. This is our school: A place where every child is safe, healthy and happy. A place where every person is valued and respected within a Christian environment. A place where every child is encouraged to achieve their individual potential and all efforts and achievements are celebrated. Come along and see for yourselves, please contact school to make an appointment. Mrs Green; Head teacher Capenhurst C.E. Primary School, Capenhurst Lane, Capenhurst, Chester, CH1 6HE

0151 339 2685 28

Give As You Live…. Fancy raising money for Claire House, just by shopping online? How about if you bought that new lipstick or bought all your Christmas presents and your local children’s hospice received a donation, at no extra cost to you? Sounds good, eh? Voted the UK’s best donation website, Give As You Live gives over £50 per online shopper to over 200 UK charities every single month. Over 2,500 of the UK’s favourite online stores will donate a percentage of every online purchase directly to Claire House through Give As You Live. From John Lewis to Expedia, you can purchase thousands of products that will all raise money for the hospice. You can even help if you do your weekly grocery shopping online too as Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco all support the Give as you Live scheme. This donation is already included in the price of whatever it is you’re buying, from televisions to shoes, dining sets to music, so you can support us without paying anything more!

Claire House at no extra cost to them. “With nearly £4,000,000 already raised for great causes across the country, it’s a free, easy and secure way of giving back, which takes just seconds to sign up for.”

yourself to something lavish, you could contribute towards the specialist care provided by our highly-skilled nursing team and bereavement counsellors – our greatest asset, but also our biggest expense.

Just spending as little as £2 a month online via Give As You Live, will help maintain the art supplies in the Claire House Art Room, but if you’re treating

Janet Abraham, Donor Development Manager at Claire House said: “It’s so simple to get started and it really is an easy way for our supporters to show some extra support for


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0844 225 2888 | “Telehealth is a fantastic way of improving accessibility to niche expertise for those who otherwise would have to endure a long journey to access appropriate care. “Imerja has been incredibly responsive to our suggestions throughout the trial and has done a great job connecting Alder Hey with Chester and Leighton hospitals which has allowed the full potential of this innovative technology to be unlocked. “I believe that telehealth is the future of healthcare as video communication and remote assessment hold great potential for improving access to care and easing 30 pressure on the healthcare system.”

user’s viewpoint

User’ Dr Ram Kumar Paediatric Neurologist Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

Liverpool FC’s Young Stars Drop In For A Game of FIFA

Dan (l) and Tom (r) Lloyd taught Jerome Sinclair (l) and Jordan Williams some tricks on FIFA.

Twins Dan and Sam Lloyd taught players from Liverpool FC U21s a thing or two about football when they popped in for a game of FIFA 13. Striker Jerome Sinclair and midfielder Jordan Williams, both 17, were challenged to a game by the brothers who were enjoying one of their regular breaks at Claire House. Dan and Sam, who have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, are passionate Liverpool fans and relished the chance to play against their heroes, albeit on an XBox. “You imagine a hospice to be a gloomy place but Claire

House is the opposite, it’s so welcoming and like a home-from-home for the children and young people who visit,” said Jerome, who is the youngest player to have played for Liverpool. “I was a bit apprehensive about going for the first time but I really enjoyed myself and the lads were great, they taught me things about FIFA that I didn’t know!” For the Liverpool Academy, visiting facilities like Claire House is a regular occurrence, and education and welfare officer Clive Cook believes it’s important to educate the

young players on the broader issues in life away from the pitch. He added: “This is massive for the players. The community work is a vital part of their development and it’s an honour to spend time at Claire House. “They were genuinely humbled as they took time to speak with the staff and do drawings and paintings for the children. It’s a fantastic place and they do such tremendous work.”


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Claire House Makeover at Liverpool ONE A very special colour themed experience for The Splash Dash! A young Claire House fashionista received an exclusive colourful make-over last month, thanks to the team at Liverpool ONE. Liverpool ONE was the exclusive sponsor of the very first Claire House Splash Dash. The Splash Dash, which took place on Saturday 28th September at Sefton Park, saw over 800 participants pelted with colourful powered paint at each kilometre point. The event was organised to raise in excess of £40,000 for Claire House Children’s Hospice. As part of this partnership, Liverpool ONE invited Catherine Alexander, one of the young people who comes to Claire House, for a very special colour themed experience where she was treated to a brand new outfit and beauty session. Staying true to her style and inspired by the colourful fun run, Catherine chose a colour pop clutch bag from John Lewis, pink embellished dress and glittery headpiece from Debenhams, all courtesy of Liverpool ONE. As well as looking the part Catherine also felt the part as she received glamorous beauty treatments at Beauty Bazaar, Harvey Nichols, at Liverpool ONE. Treatments included an elegant make-up master-class by bareMinerals, a Nails Inc. pink manicure, and new hairstyle by Electric Hair to make the most of Catherine’s red locks.

21-year-old Catherine, who was born with congenital muscular dystrophy, said: “I was so pleased to be invited to Liverpool ONE for the makeover, things like this don’t

so welcome and for giving me an experience I will never forget.”

happen to me every day! I love my new colourful look and plan to wear my outfit over Christmas and New Year.”

pleased Catherine enjoyed her day and make-over at Liverpool ONE. As well as sponsoring the Splash Dash we were delighted to have the opportunity to treat one of the young people at Claire House, have some fun with the colour theme and provide Catherine with something memorable.”

Catherine, who took part in the Splash Dash with her cousin, continued: “I’m a proud supporter of Claire House, and that’s why I took part in the Splash Dash. Since the age of eight, I have been going to Claire House for respite, and it’s hard to put into words how vital it has been to my life. “I’d like to thank the team at Liverpool ONE for making me feel

Donna Howitt, Marketing Director at Liverpool ONE, said: “We are so

Donna continued: “Liverpool ONE was in charge of the ‘Red Colour Station’ on the day, and I know the team thoroughly enjoyed seeing Catherine and all the other participants take part. It was a very colourful spectacle!” 33

The Colour of Money The first ever Claire House Splash Dash raises £50k Claire House Children’s Hospice’s most colourful event ever, The Claire House Splash Dash, took place on Saturday 28th September, with hopes of raising over £50,000 for the charity. Over 1000 participants ran, walked, skipped, wheeled or danced their way through Sefton Park, covered in powdered paint in what was dubbed Merseyside’s messiest 5k. With over 150 volunteers throwing paint at the Splash Dashers, the event was a kaleidoscope of colour, with paint stations in shades of red, blue, green, yellow and purple dotting the three mile route around the park. Liverpool ONE were the exclusive sponsor of this year’s Splash Dash and Chris Bliss, Estate Director, was on hand to sound the klaxon to officially start the race. Chris said: “Claire House is such a vital resource for families across the region and all the team work to make it the happiest place possible. As a big supporter of the charity Liverpool ONE was really keen to get behind the very first Splash Dash event. I was delighted to be invited to officially start the race and meet more of the team from Claire House. It was a fantastic event where it was clear all participants had the best time getting colourful.” 34

Liverpool ONE also had a team of volunteers who manned the ‘Red Colour Station’, as race-goers ran past, the team were ready to cover them in red powdered paint. And it wasn’t just supporters who took part either; children, young people and families who use the services of Claire House were also there to enjoy the event and support their favourite charity. Catherine Alexander, 21, who has been coming to Claire House for respite, navigated the wheelchair-friendly route with her cousin. Catherine told us; “I couldn’t wait to get involved in the Claire House Splash Dash when I heard about it, it sounded like such great fun and I wasn’t disappointed. I was covered in powdered paint when I finished

and couldn’t stop laughing. I can’t wait for next year.” Before the race Catherine was lucky enough to take part in an exclusive photo shoot, where she received a colourful make over, courtesy of Liverpool ONE. Finley Wild was another model in the making for Claire House, with his cheeky face featuring on the posters for the Claire House Splash Dash. Seven-year-old Finley, whose older brother Elliot accessed Claire House before he passed away in March 2011 aged 9, was another Splash Dasher on the start line. He said; “I loved being the face of the Claire House Splash Dash and a couple of people recognised me! I loved

running through all the coloured paint; red was my favourite because I’m a Liverpool fan. Best of all, we raised loads of money for Claire House which is great!” And raising money was the aim of the game, with all the proceeds going towards providing care and support for children and young people from the area with complex medical conditions, as well as their families.

represents everything Claire House is about; colour, vibrancy, fun and laughter. The Claire House Splash Dash is the first event of its kind in the area and we’re delighted with the success. “Thank you so much for Liverpool ONE and all our supporters for creating such an amazing event. We can’t wait to see you next year!”

Claire House Events and Sponsorship Manager Kirsty Simpson is delighted with the success of the event. “We saw these ‘colour runs’ as a trend in events that was coming over the pond from America and we knew we had to be involved. It


One Dress, 30 Days A Beauty Queen’s twist on fashion to raise funds for Claire House

The possibilities are endless when it comes to fundraising, from perfecting your home-bake for an office bake-off to facing your fears as you prepare to freefall 10,000ft above the ground. It’s our supporters’ enthusiasm and imagination that makes no idea too big or too small. A simple Google search led 19-year-old, Robyn Ferguson to her ideal approach to raising money for Claire House, as part of her association with the Miss Teen GB contest. The concept? Wearing the same yellow dress in a number of different ways for a whole month and documenting the journey online for all to see. Competitors in the Miss Team GB competition have so far raised over £15,000 for Claire House, the event’s chosen charity. Claire House was selected thanks to the competition’s organizer, Cheshirebased Holly Ikin. Robyn, from Clydebank in Scotland, wanted to inject her personality into her fundraising project. She said: “I wanted to do something really creative and unique, so I searched online and there were so many weird and wonderful ways, but this kind of jumped out at me.” “Every night, I’d decide how I’d wear the dress the next day. It became a skirt, a t-shirt, a top. I really wanted to try and mix it up as much as I could to show just how creative you can be.” 36

She said: “I didn’t want to choose something black because it would have been a little too easy for me, as black goes with everything. I also wanted this to be a really positive and vibrant challenge, especially with the money being raised for Claire House, so I went with yellow because it’s a colour that represents happiness and it’s a colour that I love.” Fashion and beauty come easily

to Robyn, having competed in beauty pageants internationally since she was just 16-years-old. A multiple competition winner, she has racked up titles such as, Miss Teen Galaxy Scotland and Miss Teen Commonwealth Euro-Atlantic and has travelled the world with her family to compete. Her final competition as a teenager, Miss Teen Great Britain, was her most exciting and nerve-wracking. She said: “I did feel quite a bit of pressure to do well with it being the last time I could compete in the teenage section, but I finished in 3rd place out of nearly 100

other girls, so I’m really proud of everything I’ve achieved.” Turning 20 means she can longer compete in Miss Teen beauty pageants, but Robyn said she has no intention of saying goodbye to the pageant world forever, and added: “I’m definitely going to keep competing, I absolutely love it and I think I may be a little obsessed!” For now, Robyn will pack her crown away and begin focusing on

education by attending university. However, having raised over £300 for Claire House, she’s determined to keep fundraising and wants others to get involved. She said: “I did so much research into Claire House Children’s Hospice before I undertook the challenge and I think the work that everybody does there is absolutely amazing and so inspiring. I’m so proud to have raised money for such a deserving cause and I truly believe that everybody should support their local children’s hospice in any way that they can.”

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It’s Not Just People in Costumes Shaking a Bucket! How volunteering at Claire House helped Nathan land a graduate job If you’ve ever wondered what really goes on at the Fundraising Centre at Claire House, and how the team goes about raising over £2.7million every year, then wonder no more. Graduate Nathan Fox spent time at Claire House researching new ways of fundraising and found it a really enlightening experience.

As I live on the Wirral, I’ve always known a little bit about Claire House, what it does and the people it supports. However it’s only over the past few months that I have been fortunate enough to gain a real understanding of how the charity works. My involvement came about due to a chance encounter with Andrew Pickering, Trusts and Commissioning Officer within the Fundraising Team. Andrew kindly gave up his time to answer some questions I had about Claire House’s fundraising strategy for a report I was writing for university. We chatted for ages and, following a tour of the hospice, I came away really inspired and full of admiration for the charity. I was delighted when Andrew contacted me the next day offering me the opportunity to volunteer as part of the fundraising team. During my time there, I was treated as an equal member of the team and got stuck in to loads of interesting activities that really challenged my ideas of a children’s hospice. I previously thought fundraising at Claire House involved people dressed in costumes 38

standing outside shops rattling buckets to collect loose change! The reality is that the Claire House Fundraising Team is a well-oiled machine, with everyone focused on raising money in loads of different ways; from planning events and speaking to challengers through to running the Claire House Lottery and organising Make a Will Month, where supporters can create a simple Will in exchange for a donation. I really got into researching new fundraising methods such as crowdfunding – an online initiative where you ask people to donate to a specific project - and coin recycling, where supporters can donate unused foreign currency. I really hope Claire House is able to use my research to think of new, innovative ways to raise money to support the work of the hospice.

Even the seemingly never-ending task of searching through data bases of trusts and foundations seemed worthwhile as every new trust I found meant another way we could try and raise a few extra pounds. I was so inspired by my time with the team, I decided to do a presentation about the charity when I went for a graduate job down in London. The bigwigs at the company seemed really impressed to hear about my involvement with them, so much so I was offered the role. It just goes to show how dedicating just a week of your time to a charity can pay off! I really enjoyed volunteering my time each week as I knew that everything I was doing had a real impact on Claire House, allowing it to continue the amazing work it does to benefit children and young people from across the North West.


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Duck Race is Quacking Success The fourth Claire House Liverpool Duck Race took place on Saturday 21st September 2013, with 40,000 little blue ducks racing to raise over £30,000 for Liverpool’s local children hospice. The ducks started their journey to the Pier Head in Liverpool city centre, via the Museum of Liverpool, where they, along with some giant decorated ducks sponsored by local businesses, have been on display since July in the Liverpool Duck Trail. Hundreds of Claire House supporters turned up to the event to enjoy the day, with stalls, food samples from Brazilian eatery Viva Brazil and colourful face painting from Peaches and Cream.

as well as jumping into the Leeds Liverpool canal to give the Duck Race competitors a helping hand in the water. The winning blue duck, bagging its owner a £1,000 cash prize was number 77250. The best dressed corporate duck went to the team at Halifax Building Society in Old Swan. Branch Manager Jackie Evason said; “I’m the Area Community Champion for Halifax within the area so this is just one of the ways we show the local community how much we value what goes on in the area. “Kelly Spencer, our Customer Manager, worked so hard to make our fabulous Scouse duck; it took her three days! She did an amazing job and all the team is so proud that Suzie the Duck - she has been named after one of our lovely colleagues – was representing Halifax in Old Swan at the Liverpool Duck Race.”

Race aims to raise funds for Claire House. The children’s hospice provides respite care and support for children and young people with life limiting conditions. The hospice also gives counselling to families and runs events and activities for siblings whose brothers and sisters use Claire House. The hospice relies on fundraising to help cover its £2.7million yearly running costs. Helen Carlson, Northern Area Fundraising Manager for Claire House, said; “This is the Claire House Liverpool Duck Race’s fourth year and we’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve had in 2013. “It was a fantastic, family day that everyone really enjoyed and best of all, we’ve raised thousands to support the work of Claire House. Thank you to everyone involved in making the day such a splashing success!”

The Claire House Liverpool Duck

Radio City’s Pete Price provided entertainment on the day, along with up-and-coming boy band The Valentine Three. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service were also on hand to give daring demonstrations


A Duck With the X Factor Chart toppers were top of the bill at Claire House Children’s Hospice with their support of the Liverpool Duck Race. Popstars including songstress Jessie J, X Factor boyband Union J and badboy rapper Professor Green all put their signatures to a special charity duck which is being auctioned in aid of Claire House as part of the recent Liverpool Duck Race. The stars were all pictured backstage at the Radio City Live music event which took place in August at the Echo Arena. Radio City’s Cash for Kids was supporting the Liverpool Duck Race. Helen Carlson, Northern Area Fundraising Manager for Claire House, said: “The stars have gone quackers for our duck and I’m sure every pop fan will want to get their hands on him!

XFactor boyband Union J


Jessie J with her duck

“He’s being auctioned in early October to raise money to support children and young people with complex medical conditions that come to Claire House.”


Thanks for the Memories!

When travelling for Ewan’s treatment was daunting, Claire House was there Giving families choices is what we’re about here at Claire House. Your support means we can offer the parents, children and young people who use our facilities a variety of options to suit them, their situation and their needs. This could be care within the family home thanks to our Hospice to Home service, emergency stays at the hospice if the electricity goes off at home, even a choice of what to have for lunch! Katy Parry and her family were offered the opportunity to stay at Claire House when her young son Ewan was receiving regular oncology treatment at Clatterbridge Hospital. Here, Katy tells you all about how that choice was a lifeline for her at the most difficult of times. Mums know best and you know when something’s wrong with your child. Earlier this year, I noticed something strange about Ewan’s eyes and with no improvement after a few days I took him to the opticians. Before I knew it we were on this crazy rollercoaster of hospitals, ambulances and surgery. It turned out Ewan had medulablastoma brain tumour, a cancerous tumour formed at the front of the brain. It was decided that the best course of treatment would be four cycles of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, twice a day, every day for four and a half weeks and two high dose stem cell transplants. Travel to any 44

Ewan poses with the picture he made for Marco Pierre White

of the hospital appointments was a nightmare as I don’t drive, but twice a day for over a month…the prospect left me so daunted and wondering how we would cope. That’s where Claire House stepped in. The hospice is just over the road from the hospital, meaning Ewan and I could easily get there

every morning and afternoon for his one hour radiotherapy session. Myself, Ewan and also my daughter Niamh when she could, all stayed together upstairs in the family accommodation, a lovely double room with a lounge-area, bathroom and everything we could need. When he wasn’t having his treatment, Ewan could just


Olympian Beth Tweddle with Ewan

enjoy himself, playing with the other children, running around the garden with his sister and entertaining all the staff. Staying at Claire House was not only convenient and helpful during such a stressful time, our experience gave us some amazing memories that we’ll treasure forever. Ewan got to meet Olympian Beth Tweddle and practice his cartwheels with her. He also made a picture for Marco Pierre White and had everyone in stitches about the ingredients in his imaginary cake! Ewan’s treatment is on-going and he is doing amazingly well. The support, love and on-going care we receive from Claire House and the help they gave us during a particularly difficult time in Ewan’s treatment will never be forgotten.

Ewan with his mum, Katy.


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Thanks For Your Support! There are any number of ways you can support Claire House Children’s Hospice; from nights out to marathons, skydives to swimming, there’s nothing fundraisers haven’t done to show their love for their local children’s hospice. Check out just a few ways people have gone the extra mile!

Chris Poole Chris Poole took part in three amazing challenges for Claire House this Summer – The Salford Olympic Distance Triathlon, the Vitruvian Half Iron Man Triathlon and finally, the Great North Run! Phew!

Millie Simpson Little Millie Simpson and her mum Stevie smile for the cameras at the opening of our new shop in Ellesmere Port.

London to Paris Chris Mason, Paul Jeanrenaud, Helen Watson and Amanda McCarroll celebrate after completing the London to Paris Bike Ride in aid of Claire House Children’s Hospice.


Firefighters cycle challenge Fire-fighters from Red Watch at Runcorn Community Fire Station cycled over 180 miles in two days, visiting every fire station in Cheshire. They’re on fire with their fundraising!

The Potting Shed Jeanette, from The Potting Shed in Neston, often volunteers her time and materials to allow the children at the hospice to design their own pottery. She then takes them back to the Potting Shed and finishes them to be taken home.

Portico These two batty little fundraisers helped Portico Day Nursery in St Helens raise over £2,600 for Claire House with a family fun day. Well done everyone!

The Monte Carlo Team The team at The Monte Carlo Restaurant in Heswall held a fabulous charity night, with £10 from each ticket supporting Claire House. Bravo!


Baby Ballet Southport How adorable! These budding ballerinas from Baby Ballet in Southport raised £400 for Claire House with their Teddy Bear’s Picnic.

EEC Home Improvement take on Tough Mudder These guys seem to have decorated themselves in mud as EEC Home Improvements take on Tough Mudder for Claire House Children’s Hospice


Andy Monks Loch Lomand Swim Southport-swimmer Andy Monks braved the cold of Loch Lomand, swimming the 24-mile stretch in just over 11 hours! Amazing, well done Andy!

Make A Will Month Thanks to our local solicitors and generous supporters, ‘Make a Will Month’, in June this year raised over £5,000 for Claire House. This will fund our wonderful hydrotherapy pool for 6 months. If you would like information about next year’s Make a Will Month or on how you can leave a small gift in your Will to Claire House, please contact Giorgia on or call 0151 343 0883.


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We Would Regret It If She Wasn’t There… The most important person on this wedding day wasn’t getting married As all parents know, family life is busy. Can you imagine juggling your already hectic daily routine with hospital appointments, giving countless medications, your child having dozens of seizures every day and having to carry your seven-year-old to the car whenever you need to pop to the shops? This is a reality for Stacey Higham from Runcorn, mum to Paige who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy called West Syndrome. And Stacey has also had the added challenge of arranging her wedding and taking part in the Claire House Splash Dash a week after! That’s what we call a supermum! Paige has been attending Claire House nearly all her life. She suffers from regular and often violent seizures which means she requires round-the clock care. Claire House is a place where Paige can not only receive the highest-quality medical care, but enjoy normal activities every seven-year old loves such as playing in the hydrotherapy pool and painting in the Claire House Art Room. Stacey tells us; “My partner Dan and I weren’t planning on getting married until 2014, but when

Paige with mum, Stacey.

Paige’s health took a turn for the worse, we decided to bring the wedding forward; it was all fast tracked! “We found out Paige had something called Hyperinsulinism

and the treatment caused a really bad reaction with fluid retention, a rash, a raging temperature and causing Paige’s stomach to stop working. She is now fed into her small intestine. Leaving Paige to go wedding dress shopping was


impossible! “We had to plan the day around Paige; when would work best for her and would she be well. But the winter months seem to hit Paige’s health quite hard so we knew we had to get married now as we would regret it if she never got to be there.” “Claire House were so supportive through all of this and even arranged to pick Paige up from our reception and look after her, so we could really let our hair down and enjoy our first weekend as a married couple. We’re so grateful to them for allowing us that time together.” Of taking part in the Splash Dash, Stacey said; “We want to give something back to Claire House because it is really close to our hearts.


“Because Paige is wheelchair bound there aren’t many fundraising activities she can do, but as this isn’t a timed event she can get involved. We were the most colourful pair at the end.” Stacey adds; “Claire House gives us piece of mind that we can go and catch up with friends and family or just recharge out batteries while knowing Paige is in capable hands. I am 25 so it’s nice to be able to go out and do normal 25-year-old things.”

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A Good Swim

Claire House physio Becky Lowe talks about the importance of the hydrotherapy pool Your donations, no matter how big or small, all make a difference here at Claire House. And you help pay for so many essential elements of the care we provide including medicines, equipment and staff. Here, we focus on our amazing hydrotherapy pool and the impact it has on the children and young people who come to Claire House. Caring for children and young people in a home-from-home environment is an important part of what we do here at Claire House and our hydrotherapy pool is an excellent way of keeping them happy, relaxed and managing their pain. Our physiotherapist Becky Lowe often refers to the hydrotherapy pool as her ‘office’; she offers aquatic therapy for all the children and young people using the hospice, as well as post-op physio and treatment for those who have no access to physiotherapy at school. Becky tell us; “The warming effects of the water allow the children and young people to relax in a safe and

Becky and Holly in the Claire House hydrotherapy pool.

homely environment, free from the chaos of a public pool. The sessions also encourage bodily movement that help relieve pain and spasms that can often be debilitating, and in some cases, help our young people do things that they are otherwise unable to do, such as standing and walking.” Unfortunately, public pools do not offer the necessary access or

equipment in order for children and young people with complex medical needs to visit safely. Becky continues; “Needless to say, our hydrotherapy pool is one of the most vital resources we have at Claire House and is loved by children and their families! It is something that is used on a daily basis and provides exercise, relaxation and most importantly fun for the children. We’re so lucky to have it and it gives families a muchneeded taste of normality.”


Townfield Primary School Townfield Lane, Prenton Wirral, CH43 2LH OFSTED JUDGEMENT OUTSTANDING - FEBRUARY 2013 Townfield Extended Daycare Scheme (TEDS) is based within Townfield Primary School. We are a 110 place Daycare and Pre School provision. We are open for 39 weeks per year and provide Daycare between the hours of 7:45am and 18:00pm Monday to Friday, catering for children between the ages of two to five years. We offer flexible child care at competitive rates, with options of three hour sessions, half and full days or a school day. Government funded sessions for two and three year olds are also available. We have three wonderful indoor classrooms, excellent outdoor facilities, plus beautiful wooded grounds. If you require any further information or would like to look around, please contact us on the telephone numbers or e-mail address below:

0151 652 8498

0778 935 7238

Session Half Day AM Half Day PM Full Day

£12 £17 £25 £32

Smylie Limited has, for over 7 years, specialised in the sourcing and distribution of UK food and non food products to companies and organisations, large or small, around the world. With a focus on supplying to supermarkets, hypermarkets, embassies and food service organisations we are flexible enough to offer a distribution service to smaller operations and individuals. With many years experience exporting to the Middle East, Far East, Europe and other markets around the world we are able to send your order by sea, air or over-land. An independent family owned company we pride ourselves on the prompt and reliable delivery service we offer. We offer a full product range of leading brands in retail and foodservice and can supply any product from the UK market. If you are after something which is not on our product lists then please contact us and we will be happy to source and deliver it to you. 62

Get Involved! We’ve got loads of great events coming up October: Thursday 10th – Best of Chester Charity Golf Day at Pryors Hayes Golf Club, Chester. Tickets for a team of four are £200. The winning team will be invited to visit the hospice (date to be agreed) and receive a framed photo of the day, as well as the opportunity to have a day at Claire House Children’s Hospice dedicated to them. For more information or booking forms, please contact Abi Smith on 0151 343 0883 or abi@ Thursday 10th – S4H Claire House Golf Day at Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa, Southport. Tickets for a team of four are £495 and include refreshments throughout the day and a threecourse meal in the evening. For more information, contact Simeon Hart on Friday 11th – The Winter Wonderland Ball at the Pavillions Suite, Chester Racecourse Tickets cost £50 per person or £500 per table of ten, corporate packages are also available. Enjoy an evening of frosted fantasy and wintery magic at the Winter Wonderland Ball. To book tickets or tables contact, Abi Smith on 0151 343 0883 or abi@claire-house.

Saturday 12th – Fun Cup Finale from 1pm at Oulton Park. Tickets just £13 with under 13s going free. Come and cheer on this exciting race featuring our very own Claire House car. Visit www. for details. Saturday 12th – Voices for Hospice Day at All Saints Church, Hoole. Tickets just £7 for adults and £3 for children. Chester Ladies’ Choir will be singing their hearts out with help from Sale Brass Band with guest organist, John Evans. For more information, call Sandra Hughes on 0151 378 0786. Sunday 27th – Claire House Comedy Workshop Showcase at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Southport. Tickets just £15, with only a limited number available. There’s no better way to raise money than by raising a smile, so get involved! To purchase tickets, visit our website Thursday 31st – Halloween Walk at Birkenhead Park. Tickets just £4 for any of the three available walks on the day. Join us on a Ghost Walk through Birkenhead Park with ghoulish happenings. Enjoy pumpkin carving, face painting and why not come in ‘spooktacular’ costumes to add to the atmosphere. For more information, contact Stephanie Clark on 0151 343 0883 or stephc@

Thursday 31st – Cheshire WITCHES Ladies Lunch Fashion Show at Craxton Wood Hotel. Tickets just £25 per person, including a 2-course meal. For more information, visit www.wirralwitches.

November: Saturday 2nd – Charity Night for Children’s Charities at Prenton Golf Club. The night includes a raffle, food, music and a disco. For more information, contact John on 07789 916 351 to book tickets. Monday 9th & Tuesday 10th – OWL Business Focus Charity Ball at Hurlston Hall Golf and Country Club, Ormskirk. Tickets just £35 and include a champagne reception and a three-course meal. There will be an awards ceremony presented by West Lancashire Council for Voluntary Services and live music and a DJ to dance you through the night! Friday 8th – Atomic Kitten – For One Night Only, at the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre. Tickets just £40 and include a three-course meal, making it the ideal event to share with friends. This a one-night-only event, so book early so you can enjoy the girls’ best known hits and dance the night away, all in aid of Claire House.

Thursday 31st - Wine tasting in celebration of R and H Fine Wine’s 1st Anniversary from 6:30pm at Liverpool Town Hall, tickets just £15. This is one not to miss for all those wine connoisseur’s out there! Contact or call 0151 345 0306 for more information.


Friday 15th – Sunday 17th – Chester Arts Fair at Chester Racecourse,

Friday 6th – Fisticuffs & Cufflinks at the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre.

Tickets just £10, under 16s, students and OAPs enter for free. The fair will be showcasing some of the most respected names in contemporary art, so don’t miss out! For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit

Tickets just £50 and include a three-course meal. Get ready for the referee to ring the bell, bringing in a night of great boxing, food, fun, fundraising and drinks. For more information, visit www.facebook. com/fisticuffsandcufflinks.

Monday 18th – Warrington WITCHES Lunch at the Waterside pub. Tickets just £20.00 per person. For more information, visit www. Sunday 24th - Light for Love Lantern Walk and Christmas Fayre, Thornton Manor. The event will begin at 1pm, tickets just £5 for the Lantern Walk, the Fayre is free for all. Tickets for the Lantern Walk will sell very quickly, so be sure to book in advance. The Christmas Fayre includes Santa’s Grotto, the Famous Claire House Toy Store, mince pies, mulled wines, carols, and fun for all the family. For more information, visit

December: Sunday 1st – Claire House Santa Dash, Liverpool. Race through Liverpool City Centre to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Liverpool Santa Dash, raising money for Claire House in the process. Entrance fee is £20 for adults and £10 for children to compete in the Mini Dash. For more information, visit Friday 6th – Tuesday 24th - Christmas Grotto at the Pyramids, Birkenhead. Tickets just £4 per child and include a visit to Father Christmas, photo and gift. Proceeds will support Claire House.


Sunday 8th – Bill Smith Toy Run from Bill Smith Motors in Chester to Wirral Rugby Club. Make sure you catch the convoy of bikes and scooters on their journey, all in aid of Claire House. For more information, call 01244 323845.

February: Saturday 1st - Cheer Up Charity Ball from 7pm until late at St. George’s Hall. Tickets start from £50 each. For more information, or to purchase tickets for the event, visit www.

Peninsular Developments Expert Builders

0151 608 2323 material handling specialists

Attention to detail

Sovex are pleased to support Claire House.

Passion for your project

Founded in Wirral in 2002, Sovex specialise in the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of conveyor systems.

Willingness to listen

Sovex 922 Pdf supplied

Claire House is one of our nominated charities and staff, at our Wirral headquarters, have raised funds for Claire House on a weekly basis.

Pennisular Building Contractors 921 • GroundworksPDF • Extensions • Renovations SUPPLIED • Refurbishments • Roofing • Conservatories • Property Maintenance •

Everyone here at Sovex wish them well and hope they continue all of their excellent work supporting the children and the families of Wirral.

Peninsular Developments North West are dedicated to bringing high quality workmanship to the Wirral and possess a strong sense of community. Not only do we wish to create local homes that people can be proud of, we also actively support local schools and community groups that our staff and their families attend or are involved with.

We endeavour to continue our support for local charities.

We are pleased to support Claire House and hope they can continue their support for the children and their families.

Sovex Limited, 2 Prenton Business Park, Prenton Way, Merseyside, Wirral, CH43 3EA

Tel: 0151 625 3939 Email: Web:

E: W:

Frank Bather & Son Ltd

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Established since: 1927 Tyre Fitting & Repairs • Alloy Wheels Wheel Alignment • Wheel Balancing Battery Fitting & Servicing Exhaust Systems Dunlop • Firestone • Goodyear • Michelin • Pirelli Free Quotes • Free Parking

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Tel: 0151 645 1494 248, New Chester Rd Rock Ferry, Birkenhead, Merseyside, CH41 9BQ

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I 11 Ark Royal Way, Lairdside Tech Park, Tranmere


How You Can Help… We hope you’ve been inspired by our latest Claire House Magazine. Claire House simply couldn’t operate without the kind support of people like you and we rely on voluntary donations to help cover our £2.7 million yearly cost of care.


There are lots of ways you can support us. • Donate online. Simply visit • Give a bag to one of our charity shops. Each bag you donate is worth £10 to us. Simply visit our website www. for details of your nearest shop, or call 0151 343 0883.

• Set up a direct debit. Regular donations will help is continue our work into the future. • Attend an event. There are loads of things going on, check out the event page in this magazine. • Or simply fill in the donation form below and send it back to us. Every donation makes a huge difference so thank you.



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Get ready for Winter! Thinking of Double Glazing? Do you want a good deal, no gimmics, no hard sell and just superb quality double glazed windows, bi-folding doors, a conservatory or an orangery? Then call Bryant Glass NOW on: Wirral 0151 652 1515 Chester 01244 879 980 Vale Royal 01606 569 484 or go to our web site:

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Claire house magazine autumn 2013  
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