Hug a little lamb in aid of poorly youngsters like Jack

Mary Mead with baby Jack, 8 months
Mary Mead with baby Jack, 8 months

A small holding opened its gates to the public in aid of a children’s charity and gave youngsters a chance to meet a host of farmyard critters.

Moreton Barn Farm in Moreton welcomed more than 1,000 visitors to its small holding over the Easter weekend and raised more than £1,900 for Helen & Douglas House, a children’s hospice that supports seriously ill children and their families.

Owner Karen Hitchcox, who has been farming in Moreton for nearly 20 years, let the crowds in to witness the birth of lambs and goat kids, as well as stroking pygmy goat kids, baby chicks and fluffy bunnies.

Among the young visitors to the farm was eight-month-old Helen & Douglas House patient Jack Mead – whose grandmother Julia has been close friends with Mrs Hitchcox for 45 years.

The tot was born six weeks prematurely and suffered oxygen starvation at birth, meaning he struggles with muscle co-ordination and has to be tube fed.

His mum Mary, who lives with husband Robert in Grenville Way, Thame, said: “We would have been completely lost without the support of Helen & Douglas House when we first had Jack, they were such a Godsend.

“Jack has got quite a strong character and he’s just started smiling, which is lovely. We’re taking each day as it comes.

“We want everyone who helped out to know just how much we appreciate their kindness and generosity.”

The event had its own Facebook page and feedback has been positive, prompting Mrs Hitchcox to plan for another fundraising day next year.

She said: “I can’t believe how many people visited over the two days. Easter is on a different date each year, so it can be hard to get the sheep lambing on the right date, but I’ll give it a go!”