What a fabulous day!

We had such a wonderful day yesterday at Annabel’s Festival of Creativity, a celebration of local talent and craftsmanship alongside fun times and yummy things to eat and drink.

The standard of performance and entry was so high that the judges really struggled to make their decisions but in the end they managed to award certificates and rosettes to some very deserving winners in all the categories (apart from “Class A: Eggs” as all the local hens seem to have gone on strike!).

14289922_224586734611010_630411391334918815_o.jpgWell done to Phoebe and Joshua for growing their prize-winning carrots from seed, and to their mum, Gemma, for winning the photography prize with her beautiful sunflower photo.


14316855_1190438034349989_4403475346199784993_n.jpgWe had some amazing cakes and baked goodies. Many thanks to Mrs B for her expert judging, she arrived having not had breakfast and was really feeling rather full after tasting every single entry!

She chose Rosa’s very delicious chocolate brownies, Julie’s spectacular cake and Shan’s lovely cottage loaf as winners, but the “Best in Show” prize went to Henry (age 12) for his gravity-defying Smartie cake – well done Henry!

Well done to Janis for her fairy garden, Alice for her lovely Georgian-style gown, Rachel for her crochet, Keith for his wooden trinket box, Sarah for very spectacular dahlias, Helen for her plum jam, Meryl for lovely silver spoons and paintings, Alison and Richard for literature and Alicia for her beautiful collage.

As ever, the musical performances were a real treat for us all, we had 12 hours of live music from many different genres and it was almost impossible to pick winners. However the judges awarded best solo performance to Ellen (age 10) for her piano piece, best small ensemble to “Off the Rails” for their amazing Jazz set and best large ensemble to “The Harmonics” for opening the festival with their lovely singing.

The special rosette for overall performance was awarded to Sylvan for entertaining us with his saxophone – such a special performance!

This was Annabel’s third annual event for Jemima’s Gift and once again it was a wonderful way to celebrate everything that Jemima’s Gift stands for. We were very moved by Peter’s words as he opened the festival;

“…….we are very proud to be here to remember the life of an incredible little human, and all our lives are better for having known her…….”

Thank you so much to everyone who entered a class, everyone who helped behind the scenes, everyone who donated so generously and everyone who came along to make the day so much fun. Thank you most of all to Annabel for organising the whole event and, of course, to Jemima for the inspiration.



Get your entries in soon!


Not only will there be a full day of live music provided by solo artists, ensembles and bands at Annabel’s Festival, there will also be displays of craft, baking, literature, produce and photos to look at. Don’t forget to let her know which categories you would like to enter and then come along and join in the fun!

Keyboard news


We are thrilled to have found a very deserving home for our keyboard. It is now in place at Calder House School and already very much a part of the school music provision. Its first task was to accompany the children’s choir in their end of term production. We know, without doubt, that Jemima would be delighted with this outcome and we hope it does good service for many years to come!

Highfield School Summer Concert

Thank you so much to all the pupils and staff at Highfield Church of England summer-concert16-150x150.jpgPrimary School for the fantastic fund-raising at their summer concert.

Olivia went along and had a wonderful evening.

This is the report on the school website;

“On Wednesday 13th July, the musicians in the junior department, once again wowed us with their talents! The school orchestra (looking resplendent in their new t-shirts), string ensemble, both junior choirs and guitar ensemble all performed amazingly. We were also treated to a number of solo performances from the talented Year 6. The HSA provided bubbly and cakes during the interval, and £100 was raised for our chosen music charity: Jemima’s Gift. All in all, a marvellous, melodic end to a musical year!”

We are very grateful for this support, thank you.

Lily and her ‘Cello

0.jpgThank you, Lily, for this beautiful photograph of you with your ‘cello at the National Schools Symphony Orchestra summer school.

Lily was awarded a place at this prestigious course in the summer and we were privileged to be able to help with the fees. This is what Lily’s mum says about her experience;

“She thoroughly enjoyed the week, and came home not only enthused and inspired with her cello playing, but also having grown in self-confidence, and having made many new friends.”

At Jemima’s Gift we believe that music is vital in encouraging children to develop self-assurance and social skills for life. It is wonderful to be able to provide such opportunities for children and we are grateful to all our supporters for allowing us to do just that.

Good luck with your music making Lily!

New skates for Amy

We are delighted to have been able to provide new skates and blades for Amy. We were so impressed with the lovely letter that she sent to us. Here is an extract;

“I am contacting you to enquire if you would consider an application for an individual amateur sports grant. I am 15 years old and part of the National Ice Skating Association Development Squad and have represented Great Britain at an international figure skating competition in Croatia in November 2015 where I placed 15th. I have also competed at the British National Championships at basic novice level for the past 2 years.

“I am currently 1working towards becoming a junior figure skater and aim to compete at the British National Championships at a junior level. I have also been invited to take part in an ice skating camp in July at Dundee where I will be able to receive intensive coaching for 5 days.

I live in Whitley Bay and get up at 5am every weekday morning to train there before school and I also train there after school. Every Friday, after school, I travel 3½ hours to Dundee with my mum and dad where I spend the weekend training with some of the top figure skaters in the country. My coach is an Olympic Technical specialist and a coach to British, European and World competitors. I also see a choreographer who helps with my programmes.

My mum and dad are so supportive and pay for my coaching, transport, hotels, costumes, competition entry fees and ice boots. We estimate that my annual training costs are currently in the region of £13,600. They both work full time and get up early every day to take me skating. Our whole lives revolve around my ice skating. My mum has even taken on a 2nd job in order to help with the costs. A grant from yourselves would help massively with these costs; in particular a new pair of ice skating boots and blades, and help me in working towards achieving my goals and becoming more established in my sport.”

We wish Amy every success in her ice-skating career and look forward to hearing her news in due course.

The Clarinet Story

This is Alex, proudly playing his new Yamaha clarinet. The clarinet was gifted to us back at Christmas when Olivia held a “Christmas Jumper Day” at Winchester University in aid of Jemima’s Gift. After her presentation about the charity a fellow student came to chat with her and said that she would like us to have her clarinet, which she no longer played. She wanted to find a home for it where it would be used properly again. You may have seen our appeals to find the perfect recipient over the past few months.image

Alex has been learning to play for the past three years, using a hired instrument from the local school music scheme. However his teacher had told him that he wouldn’t be able to take the instrument with him to secondary school in September and so his family were thinking that he would have to give up entirely.Then one of his class teachers pointed him our way. She had heard about out appeal to re-home our clarinet and thought of Alex.

We are so thrilled to have such a happy ending to the clarinet story, and Alex is getting on brilliantly with his clarinet. We wish you many happy years of playing Alex, and hope to be able to hear you play at one of your concerts one day!