Thursday, 19 November 2015

Little Hiccups Fundraising Ball 2015

Little Hiccups Fundraising Ball

Local support group for children with disabilities / additional needs, Little Hiccups is kicking off Christmas in style by hosting its annual Fundraising Ball this Saturday at The Marriott in Leeds.

The annual Ball has grown from year to year and this year its reputation has preceded it and it is the most popular Ball yet with tickets selling out early.

With a delicious three course dinner, complimentary wine on every table, exclusive auction items and contributions to our raffle prize from a host of generous companies this year promises to be the most amazing yet.

The annual Fundraising Ball started 5 years ago as a brainchild of Linsay Medica, the Founder of Little Hiccups who says “This is our biggest Ball so far and it promises to be the best! We have some fantastic entertainment planned and we are definitely kicking off the festive season in style with a night to remember.”

Even at Little Hiccups Fundraising Events the families are not forgotten. It is a frustrating and unfair fact that the cost of bringing up a child with disabilities is three times greater than bringing up one without. It is because of this that Leeds based company Equinox traditionally sponsor a table so that Little Hiccups parents and carers of children with special needs can take part in our special night too. One of Little Hiccups guest parents phrase it perfectly as “being invited with a free place is not only exciting but that push I needed to actually have a night out! To be able to come to something so special also reminds me that I’m ‘me' and not just 'mum'”.

An evening of Glamorous Entertainment

Not only do we have some amazing guests but we are pleased to announce the return of singer Bethany Hare. Bethany sang for our guests as they arrived last year underneath the eaves of a fantastic Christmas tree while guests warmed themselves on Hot Chocolate with Baileys or Mulled Wine. Little Hiccups were so blown away with her stage presence and voice that this year she was asked to sing on the main stage.

Bethany has just turned 16 years of age and has been fundraising since she was 10. To date she has raised over £30,000 for Martin House and also set up her own charity called Bethany's Smile - her aim is to build Smile Cottage, a holiday home for families of children with high care needs. In addition to her own fundraising, Bethany performs free of charge for any charity in Yorkshire to try and help them to raise more funds for their very worthy causes - her way of trying to support everyone as much as possible.

We also have Shane Durrant who will entertain the guests on arrival. Shane is a Yorkshire-based performer, teacher and composer. He has worked extensively in the UK and abroad, playing at ski resorts in the Alps, directing shows onboard cruise ships and running music schools in Malaysia.

Dean and Richard from X2 Photography will also be there to capture the guests in all their attire although of course the obligatory Santa hat must make an appearance. X2 Photography specialises in family photos of children with special needs and Little Hiccups use them at a number of their events.

Fundraising for an Amazing Cause

Little Hiccups are a support group based in Leeds run by parents who have children with special needs. They had a vision to bring parents and families of disabled children together, to make memories and experience the support of other families in similar situations.

Little Hiccups has nearly 200 families that it supports and the aim of the Ball is to ensure that Little Hiccups can keep providing the support to each of these families that attend our Fortnightly Stay n Play sessions incorporating Baby Massage & Yoga, Music Therapy, information from different services and our Monthly Family Fun Days which include relaxed and group trips to the cinema, theme parks, skiing, wall climbing and photoshoots amongst others. Little Hiccups also offers an Outreach programme and in 2016 have many more future plans to enrich the lives of the families that they support. All monies raised goes back towards the families.

Little Hiccups Secretary and Event Organiser, Miriam Watson says “We are all very excited about this Saturday. It looks like it is going to be our biggest and best yet and we have some fantastic prizes to give away. We've been completely blown away by people's generosity."

James Thompson, a medical negligence solicitor at Simpson Millar LLP and a committee member of Little Hiccups said "This is a charity that is very close to my heart; I've seen the amazing work they do for families in and around Leeds and I am grateful to Simpson Millar LLP for getting behind this event and donating one of the Star Prizes for the night".


Note for Editors
Little Hiccups is a support group that has been set up by families who have children with special needs.

Through personal experience they recognise the importance of allowing the parents and families of a child with a disability the opportunity to meet people in similar situations, to make friends and support each other. Little Hiccups runs a bi-monthly support group for under 5’s in Leeds and organises a fun monthly outing that the whole family can attend.

You can contact Little Hiccups through our website, by email on or mobile on 0783 123 0741.

Bethany’s Smile:
Shane Durrant:
X2 Photography:

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Little Hiccups October Event: Rainbow Factory

It was a cold, wet and generally miserable day. I was certainly glad that we had arranged an indoor activity today but I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive. I had been sent a newspaper link from one of our families showing that the Rainbow Factory had been broken into and ransacked. You can read the article here. We never had any intention of NOT going but were a little nervous about what to expect and from reading the article the damage done was quite large.  We needn't have been. I don't know how hard the staff had worked to get everything back up to scratch but they must have worked relentlessly. One of the parents said to me after that if they hadn't known about it via the newspaper there simply would not have known. The place was impeccable. When we arrived we were greeted at the door by the happiest and smiliest people I think I have ever met! The enthusiasm and excitement of the team at Rainbow Factory, even after what must have been a very challenging week, was palpable and it fizzled in the air.

We started our adventure by being greet by one of the owners, Hazel and our guide for the day, Lydia. We then entered a mystical world through theatrical red curtains and were rewarded with fabulous tales of magic adventure. Our guide bubbled with stories and engaged the children with their interactive stories. We visited goblins and dragons. We found magic boxes, wands and dragon teeth. We searched for emotion stars and collected them in our tubs. 

Once we had found all the emotions we could we moved onto a craft area where we put our emotions onto wish buckets and decorated with colours and glitter. Each of these activities totally engrossed the children. I don't think I've ever seen them sit so still...

Several of the children enjoyed the centre in their own way. The fancy dress and the hidey holes in the tents were particularly popular with some. And there was plenty of opportunity for the parents to relax and take 10 minutes for themselves while the rainbow staff entertained the children. I personally found the time to catch up with parents and actually have a chat instead of running around after my own children! Always appreciated. 

Our wonderful visit ended with a packed lunch for the children in the rainbow room where they tucked into sandwiches and gingerbread men. The adults weren't forgotten either and we treated to buns and some very tasty sandwiches and good old fashioned pots of tea. The proper way!

All in all it was a lovely trip out and we were made to feel so welcome. Even when we left (well after closing time) the staff were still so happy and enthusiastic and after chatting to them I learnt that it had been one of, if not THE, busiest days they had had since opening. Personally...I want to know the secret and source of their energy...maybe it's the magic that is entwined throughout the building? Whatever it was, I can't wait for our next trip.

The Rainbow Factory will be holding lots of Christmas activities in the runup to Christmas including a performance of The Shoemaker's Christmas Wish which will be hosted from 8th -24th December at 11am and 6pm. Join Charlotte the shoemaker for a magical reimagining of the classic fairytale The Elves and the Shoemaker. Featuring live music, song and dance, this Christmas cracker is bursting with fun and laughter for all the family...

To book or for more information, visit