Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sweet shop for a day

I was invited today to the Oak Road Estate. To a celebration - with music and burgers and tombola and, despite heavy rain, with lots of people. The purpose of the celebration - which was organised by CORE, the Community of Oak Road Estate, was one very brave young man - Karl, who at just nine years old has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

Karl has brought the whole community together, and today they presented him with his Mum and Dad, a few extras for the coming months. Like a cheque for £4156 raised by the neighbours; £1200-odd raised by his school friends at Sherwood Park Primary; £200 given by the SPA group; and around £200 more raised by local people at today's event.

And a football signed by the entire Charlton Athletic team. And a set of photos of Chelsea made up by a local print works. And a real WWF belt donated by the World Wrestling Federation.

And a sweetshop. You see, Karl always dreamed of his own sweetshop. So today, they set him up a tent with a special sign made by a local business, and with all the stock bought by the CORE group.

And Cheryl Baker, who was asked by locals to come along and make a fuss of Karl. She was great.

But even Cheryl wasn't as great as the residents of the Oak Road Estate. Or Karl's parents. Or, most importantly, Karl himself, running his sweet shop for a day.

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