A SPECIAL event, which allows seriously-ill children to experience Christmas six months early, has been held by local charity Sebastian’s Action Trust.

The Wild West-themed Christmas in July party took place at The Bluebells respite holiday home in North Waltham, and saw 200 guests enjoy some festive fun with a cowboy twist.

The sound of yee-haws mixed with country and western music rang loudly around the home’s garden, as children with life-limiting illnesses and their families enjoyed activities including pony rides, shooting, a bucking bronco, pin the tail on the donkey and a wild west-themed Santa Claus.

The trust’s Christmas in July campaign is in its second year and is extremely poignant, bringing the joy of Christmas early as some may not be able to celebrate Christmas this year in December.

Charity chief executive Jane Gates said: “Yet again, we were delighted to see so many of our families come together and be a part of our family of families.

“The Christmas in July campaign is very close to my heart. My son Sebastian passed away on Christmas Eve, and as a charity, we realise that for many of the families we support, Christmas may not be a joyous time.

“Bringing Christmas forward allows us to reach our aim of creating precious memories, with parents and children entering the festive spirit.”

Among the guests at the special day was the Halls family, from Basingstoke.

Mum-of-three Claire Halls said: “I have an 11-year-old daughter, who loves to craft, sing and dance, an eight year old boy we like to call danger boy and a five year old son with delayed mobility and severe mental impairment, whose only means of expression is to screech and squeal and wave his arms about.

“Finding an outing that entertains everyone is a challenge but Sebastian's Action Trust once again totally nailed it with their Wild West-themed Christmas in July.”

The event was supported by companies PEPSICO, Denplan Community Fund and LEGO.