Bauble hunt popular with young visitors

Basingstoke Gazette: Festive fun at The Vyne Festive fun at The Vyne

FESTIVE fun was in store for young visitors who flocked to The Vyne to take part in the annual Naomi House Bauble Hunt event.

Winners who managed to grab themselves a bauble at the National Trust property, in Sherborne St John, took it to Father Christmas to exchange for a Christmas gift.

Tina Starbuck, corporate fundraiser for Naomi House children’s hospice, said: “It seemed to be busier than last year and we had 600 children then.

“We are really grateful to all the families that come to the bauble hunt and support Naomi House. We would also like to say a big thank you to The Vyne for their support and the volunteers who have come along to help us.”

Santa also had a special local helper in the form of Owen Howkins, who brought along his best friend, an Antolian Sheppard called Haatchi.

Owen, from Basingstoke, suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Schwartz Jampel Syndrome which causes his muscles to permanently tense. His dog Haatchi was taken in by the family after being rescued. He had suffered horrendous injuries, resulting in the amputation of a back leg, after being left on a railway line in London.

Owen and Haatchi captured the nation’s hearts after winning the Cruft’s Friends for Life award, and they have since worked to support numerous charities.

Owen’s father Will said: “Owen enjoys helping out and doing charity work, especially for Naomi House.”

Other activities on offer during the day included face painting, a lucky dip, chocolate and teddy tombolas and a guess- the-weight-of-the-cake competition to raise funds for the Sutton Scotney-based hospice.

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