Sophie's fund gets £5,000 boost in final fundraiser for Exning schoolgirl

Fund-raisers: Lisa, Andrew and Issac Bell with Natasha Gash and Claire Patterson
Fund-raisers: Lisa, Andrew and Issac Bell with Natasha Gash and Claire Patterson

Saturday’s final Christmas Fair to be held in memory of Exning schoolgirl Sophie Bell who died as the result of a brain tumour has boosted the fund set up in her name to £95,000.

Once again, the event held in St Martin’s Church, the neighbouring church hall and a marquee, attracted more than a thousand visitors who made the most of a wide variety of stalls at what organisers have decided will bring down the curtain on a hugely successful event.

Hitting the fund-raising heights are Suzy Foy, Jeanne Kemp and William Patterson.

Hitting the fund-raising heights are Suzy Foy, Jeanne Kemp and William Patterson.

“We have been victims of our own success in some ways,” said Natasha Cash. “The fair has grown so much since we started that this year I had to turn away more than 100 potential stallholders.

“The only option would to be to hold it somewhere else but by leaving Exning it would feel like we were leaving Sophie behind.”

The fairs have raised more than £20,000 towards the total of £95,000 donated via the Sophie’s Smile fund to the Brain Tumour Trust since the popular schoolgirl lost her fight for life at the East Anglian Children’s Hospice at Christmas 2012.

“The support we have had from the public and particularly the people of Exning has been amazing and we are very grateful for how supportive they have been,” said Natasha.

Hannah Kirk, Anva Khan-Minhas, Jack Gash and Gavnor Kirk at Sophie's Christmas Fair

Hannah Kirk, Anva Khan-Minhas, Jack Gash and Gavnor Kirk at Sophie's Christmas Fair

Fund-raising will continue next year with what her parents Andrew and Lisa have dubbed a ‘Year of Challenges’ in which people who have been involved with the fund will take on personal sponsored challenges.