East Ham schoolgirl’s star-studded Christmas

Six-year-old Hazel McLeod from East Ham celebrated Christmas with the stars when she was invited to a party in Downing Street.

Hazel, who suffers from sickle cell anaemia, was one of forty poorly children invited to the bash by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne MP.

She attended the tea party with her mum Diane Campbell and a host of celebrity guests including Dr Who himself Matt Smith, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and CBBC presenter Gemma Hunt.

Mr Osborne said: ”We don’t often have as much fun at Downing Street as we have this afternoon.

“It is extremely humbling for me and my staff to hear some of the children’s stories and we hope that by coming along to our Christmas party we have helped them forget their illnesses for an hour or two and simply have a bit of fun.”

Geri Halliwell said: “A large dose of fun and laughter can be exactly what the doctor ordered for some of these kids and their families.”

Dr Who star, Matt Smith, said: “Thousands of children will spend this Christmas in hospital and, along with a White Christmas, this year I am wishing for some much-needed festive cheer for these kids.

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“It’s easy to forget how tough it must be for families with a seriously ill child and I am thrilled to support the work that Starlight does to bring them fun and distraction at a time when they need it most.”

Matt is also an ambassador for the Starlight Foundation, who organised the event and others like it for sick children in hospitals and hospices.

Neil Swan, chief executive of the Starlight Children’s Foundation, said: “Christmas can be an incredibly difficult time for families with a very poorly child and, on behalf of Starlight, I want to thank the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his team at No 11 Downing Street for their exceptional hospitality.

“Their generosity, hard work and effort have brought some very happy memories to some very deserving families this Christmas.”

To find out more about the Starlight Foundation, make a donation or refer a child, log on to www.starlight.org.uk where 91p in every �1 goes towards helping the children.