Council cash gives children a real panto treat

COUNTY councillors have been waving a collective magic wand to fund panto trips for looked-after children, to help them get into the festive spirit.

Playing the role of Fairy Godmother is Val Letheren, Bucks County Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, who persuaded councillors to contribute some of their Leadership Allowance to the panto fund.

As a result, £3,300 has been raised, which will allow around 130 looked-after children, their carers and carers’ children, to enjoy a panto trip to remember.

The Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury and the Swan in High Wycombe have joined in the season of goodwill, giving a generous discount on tickets.

And to make the occasion truly memorable, the children will be able to meet a host of stars from Dick Whittington (Waterside) and Cinderella (Swan).

Val Letheren said: “This is the season of goodwill and it’s just great that the goodwill of my fellow councillors in their role of Corporate Parents will give these young people a day to remember.

“Life can be tough for some of our looked-after children and, as a mum who enjoyed these seasonal trips with my own children, I wanted them to have a really special Christmas memory. I wish them a fantastic time.

“I’m so appreciative of the kindness of councillors, the theatres and the actors who have made this event possible, and I know I speak for every young person who will benefit from their generosity.”

BCC say any funds remaining will go towards an event for older young people in care as well as Christmas hampers for those young people who have only recently left care.