The below items have been copied from newspaper or web articles that have been published. 


Essex Enquirer - May 2012


We were delighted to be invited to a show given by a very special young man, David Martin, who we granted a wish to some 10 years ago. Reproduced below is the newspaper article which appeared in the Essex Enquirer.


A GRAYS man with Down’s Syndrome has said a big thank you to a charity for helping him take to the stage.


David Martin, 22, has Down's Syndrome and produced the sellout show Dine At Mine about an American diner at the Thameside Theatre on Monday, 30 April.


Working alongside JTD Performing Arts, former Treetops School pupil David rallied community groups who have a connection with disability to take part.


At the end of Monday’s performance David presented a cheque for £300 to Kids in Need, a charity which, through donations and fundraising, grants ‘wishes’ to young people aged three to 19 who are terminally or seriously ill or who suffer from multiple disabilities, at the end of the performance to help them continue their work.


Kids in Need Chairperson Gemma Scoines said: “It was a fabulous night and a really lovely show. It was so nice to see a group of youngsters up there singing and dancing and nobody being singled out just because they have a disability.


“It was brilliant to see David on stage. We granted his wish to go on to the set of The Bill 10 years ago now and to see him on stage and producing the show was just fabulous. He is such a confident boy and it is great that we were able to help him with wanting to become an actor.”


David said in his thank you speech on Monday: “When I went on the set of The Bill, that’s when I knew I wanted to be an actor and be on stage, thank you.”


David is currently a pupil at Harlow College where he is studying for his Silver Arts award, producing the show is helping is studies.


For more information about Kids In Need and how they could grant your wish or to nominate somebody, visit:

                                                                        Dine@Mine Flyer


Please click the links to read the press articles on David's show: Enquirer and Enquirer - 26 April 2012

Essex Chronicle - June 2010

Link to web page 


EDP 24 - June 2009

Link to EDP 24 web page (includes video clip)


BBC - Norfolk  -  June 2009

Link to BBC web page




Thurrock Gazette - June 2009

Link to the Thurrock Gazette






Mercury - Hoddesdon & Broxbourne - May 2009

John in his local paper May 09





Epping Forest Guardian - Thursday 22nd January 2009                   

Bike is a gift of independence

A young girl is enjoying a new lease of life after a charity gave her a special new bike. Faiza Qadeer, six, is a pupil at the Oakview School in Whitehills Road, Loughton. She suffers from cerebral palsy, epilepsy and profound learning difficulties which have left her with limited mobility.

The charity Kids in Need stepped in with their Make a Wish programme to give Faiza a specially-adapted trike to help her learn to walk, as well as give her more independence. According to Oakview teacher Claire Moore it has already made a world of difference. She said:"The trike not only gives her mobility and access to go out with her family but it is also useful as part of her physio because she can't yet walk unaided. "Since receiving the trike, Faiza's self-esteem has improved dramatically".

Kids in Need grant various wishes to children with terminal or serious illness and severe disabilities, from meeting top celebrities and taking dream holidays to delivering learning aids.



Essex Chronicle - Thursday 4th December 2008       (Anne Fitzgerald)

Actors meet children after charity grants their wishes.
A dream come true for four youngsters

Two children who have had their wishes granted by the Essex-based charity Kids in Need and two who will soon have their wishes come true met up with the Charity's patron, actor Rene Zagger and supporter Alex Walkenshow, also an actor, who plays Sergeant Smith in The Bill. The event was held at Marygreen Manor in Brentwood.

The youngsters involved were Robert Howchin, 16, from South Woodham Ferrers, Jack Booth, 12, from Romford, Sam Bennigsen, 14, from Hornchurch and David Dempsey, Nine, from Leigh on Sea.

Robert who is autistic, had his wish granted by Kids in Need when he went with his family to the Eden Project in Cornwall. Jack, who has Perthes disease, will have his wish granted when he goes on holiday next Easter. Sam, who has bowel and kidney problems, is looking forward to the Easter holidays when he will be going on a Junior Ferrari experience, David who has severe cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, was delighted to have his dream come true when he visited the Motor show in London where he met presenters from his favourite programme, Top Gear.

Kids in Need is a registered Charity which through donations and fundraising, grants wishes to children and young people aged 3 to 19 who are terminally or seriously ill or who suffer from multiple disabilities.

 Rene, Alex & the boys


 Hertfordshire Mercury - December 2008                     (Jean Marsden)

Guitar gift strikes a chord with Abbie.

A disabled Hoddesdon girl can strum along to her favourite rock band, thanks to a children's charity which helped her wish come true.

Kids in Need, which grants wishes for children aged between 3 and 19 years who are ill or have multiple disabilities, made sure 7 year old Abbie de Mattos would have a lifetime of enjoyment. She wanted to meet Muse's Matthew Bellamy, Christopher Wolstenhome and Dominic Howard, but when that was not possible the charity granted her second wish - to have a red guitar like Matt's.

Joanna Taylor of Kids in Need said "Although we could not organise a meeting with the band, we did manage to get her a signed scratch plate which we had fitted onto a metallic red guitar".

The charity also bought a black 'Manson' guitar strap - like the one Matt uses - as well as a microphone stand, 15w amp and case. Two weeks ago Abbie and her family went to collect it and have a strum. And they went to none other than Mansons Guitars in Exeter where Matt goes to get his guitars custom-made. Mum Barbara said the guys in the shop were super and let Abbie plug it in and play it in their amp area. And she has played it every day since, often with a Muse DVD.

Legendary guitar maker Hugh Manson also signed a plate which has been fixed on the back of Abbie's guitar and she was given some plectrums like the one Matt uses. "Abbie is so proud of it", said Barbara. "The delight on her face was well worth the journey. She tells everyone we meet. It is something she will keep for ever. She's as happy as anything with it".

Abbie was born 10 weeks premature and went into cardiac arrest after being operated on at Great Ormond Street Hospital for a twist in her gut. She has cerebral palsy, gets around with a walking frame and has just got her first wheel-chair for when she gets tired. She also suffers from hydro-cephalus, has visual impairment and learning and speech delay. But she is now in mainstream school at St Catherine's Primary in Hoddesdon. "She is an absolute fighter!" said Barbara. "She's very noisy. She has a lot of language and skills and a massive personality and is a strong-willed and happy little love".


NewsShopper - Monday 18th August 2008                           (Alexis Thompson)

Youngsters enjoy a once in a life time trip.

CHILDREN with disabilities enjoyed a once in a life time trip organised by a charity.

A trip to Lego land in Windsor was organised by the Parents Consortium, a registered charity based in Hextable. The charity, which was established in 1996 provides services to parents and carers who have a disabled child aged 19 or under in the Dartford and Gravesham area.

Leisure services managr, Tracey Riley said: "We had a really wonderful day and the weather was lovely.

"Around seventy children, who are members of the charity turned up along with their parents and carers.

"We all met at Cascades Leisure Centre in Thong Lane, where the cash picked us up from.

"It was a rare opportunity for the children, who don't usually get to go to places like Legoland".

The trip was funded by Kids in Need, a small registered charity based in Shenfield in Essex.

Through donations and fund raising, the chairty grants wishes to young people aged 3 to 19 who are seriously ill or suffer from multiple disabilities.

Mrs Riley added: "I would like to say a big thank you to Kids in Need, who granted our wish and helped us to afford a treat for the Children."

Children set off for trip to Legoland

Children set off for trip to Legoland.


 Essex Chronicle - Tuesday 19th June 2008                         (Kathy Canham)

Celebrating a year of granting wishes - Party in the sun for kids of courage.

A charity making wishes come true for children and young people with life-limiting conditions, serious illnesses or multiple disabilities has held a special annual party.

Youngsters from Essex who have had wishes granted by Kids in Need over the past year and their families were invited to a summer reunion party. The event, held at the Endeavour School in Brentwood was a full day of fun with refreshments and entertainment such as face painting, sort play toys, a ball and, a bouncy castle and a children's entertainer.

Guests had the excitement of meeting the charity patron and actor Rene Zagger - better known as PC Nick Klein from The Bill. Six children were on the VIP guest list. They were Luke Hayzer, four whose dream was a day out at Diggerland. Luke from Braintree, has Asperger's Syndrome, dyslexia and dyspraxia. Four year old Louis Bennett, from Braintree, who is autistic, had enjoyed a holiday in Scotland thanks to the charity while Jack Coleman Pope, nine from Chelmsford and who has Downs Syndrome, got to go to Disneyland Resort Paris. Ten year old Craig Mansfield from Chelmsford, who is autistic, has benefited from some sensory equipment. A Nintendo DS games console was Kimberley Penn's wished-for item. Kimberley, 10, of Chelmsford, is asthmatic and has learning difficulties.

A highlight of the party was the release of 1,000 balloons purchased by the public to help raise money for the charity. Kids in Need spokesman Jo Taylor said:"The day was a success. Our patron Rene spent the whole day with the children and everyone had a great time".


Ilford Recorder - Thursday 6th March 2008


Three youngsters who suffer from cerebral palsy have grown in confidence and self-esteem since being presented with tricycles.

Besart Mani, eight, Ronan Cremins, seven and Storm Jorge, eight, all of Trinity School, Heathway, Dagenham, got a special delivery this week thanks to Kids in Need.

The charity, which grants wishes to children aged three to 19 who are terminally or seriously ill or have multiple disabilities, donated three specially-adapted tricycles for them to use at the school.

Susan Ball, assistant head of the lower school, said:"They're built to support the different body positions they need to be held in. One of the trikes has a glove on the bars to the rider can hold on. They have seen youngsters on bikes at the school and we wanted these trikes so they can do the same thing. It's developed their self-esteem hugely. It makes them more confident in the playground".

Staff requested the tricycles after the charity invited teachers to make application to them. Mrs Ball said:"For them to be on the trikes, enjoying the fresh air is greatly beneficial for them. The physiotherapist has already seen a massive improvement. They've grown in their ability to interact with others.


Essex Chronicle - Tuesday 28th June 2007                           (Tom Gardner)

Charity celebrates 25 years of making a difference to people's lives - Wishes can come true.

For dozens of seriously ill and handicapped children, small pleasures granted by an Essex-based charity have made a huge difference to their daily lives.

Kids in Need, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, is dedicated to granting the wishes of terminally ill and disabled three to 19 -year-olds and their families.

Founded in 1982, the charity raised tens of thousands of pounds a year to pay for days out, specialist equipment and other treats to lift the spirits of ill kids.

Charity vice-chair Joanna Taylor said: '"I remember the reason I got involved in this charity when I see the joy that the children get from the simples wishes we grant".

This year the small group of volunteers who support the charity granted the wishes of more than 70 kids from across the Home Counties. Chairman Katie Clooney said: "The wishes vary enormously. We've granted wishes to meet celebrities and go on holidays. "We have purchased special toys and learning aids that have been adapted to a child's needs, and provided sensory equipment. "Some children's wishes are unique, such as a ride in a helicopter, an army tank or Ferrari or being a princess for the day".

The charity organised a reunion party at the Endeavour School in Brentwood for this year's recipients. The event was attended by former Grange Hill and The Bill star Rene Zagger, patron of the charity. He is about to appear in the BBC blockbuster Rome and has also just appeared in the latest series of Doctor Who.

The Kennedy family were one of those to have a wish granted and were at the party.

Parents Michelle and Mark have 3 children, Elliot 16, Stewart, 14 and Harvey, 12. Elliot and Stewart both have special needs and Kids in Need paid for the family to go to Eurodisney for four days.

Michelle said :"We had an amazing time. We went in a big group of families with kids with special needs. It was wonderful to spend some time with other parents who have the same experiences. The kids were so excited before they went and they were still talking about the trip weeks after".

The charity puts a great deal of emphasis on including all the family in the treats. Project co-ordinator Gloria Poole said:"These kids can really have a tough time of it. We aim to take them out of their routine and help them forget about their problems. But it's important not to forget the rest of the family. Having a child with disabilities can put real pressure on the family so it's great to offer the siblings and parents a day off or treat too".