Ash fails to spoil Megan’s Florida trip

JOYFUL Megan Bevan was whisked away to have the time of her life passing Alice-like into a different world in the Florida sunshine.

Although stranded at Gatwick for a chunk of it by Iceland’s ash cloud the 12-year-old from Hemsby experienced the warmth and hospitality associated with the American climate and culture.

Now her father is staging a fund-raiser to help other disabled youngsters enjoy treat trips abroad arranged by a charity which has strong links to the seaside resort.

Lyndon Bevan is hosting a Mad Hatter’s tea party with costumed characters and croquet at MB’s funhouse, Hemsby, with an evening “do” for grown ups on Saturday, June 25.

Two parties of up to 30 children each will take place during the day with party food, games and fancy dress aimed at boosting the National Holiday Fund which needs to raise around �60,000 a year.

Evening events include karaoke, a slave auction and raffle, with a bed bath and window cleaning among the more bizarre lots.

The event is the latest in a string of fund-raisers for the NHF, as a thankyou for providing holidays with all the medical back-up that normal folk would struggle to assemble.

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Megan, who lives with her parents Lyndon and Theresa, and has two older brothers Thomas and William, suffers a host of health problems following a brain tumour which was diagnosed when she was three.

Born perfect, the little girl was just learning to read and chatter in full sentences when her balance and sight deteriorated.

Surgery and pioneering radiotherapy followed at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, to blast the tumour and dusting of cancer down her spine – saving her life but leaving a legacy of hospital appointments and visits and an uncertain prognosis.

Although happy in herself Megan, who attends Sidestrand Hall special school, near Cromer, has hearing and eyesight problems, growth problems and a mental age of around five or six.

“The charity is just marvellous,” Mr Bevan said. “Every child has to have a helper and nurses and doctors.”

Insp Mark Haddow, of Norfolk Police, and his wife Mary are the Hemsby couple behind the charity which arranges two holidays a year for youngsters with a range of life-limiting or chronic illnesses.

Last year, Megan was among a group of 12 children whose holiday to Disney World was cut short by five days by the volcanic ash flight ban.

To find out more or to make a donation visit

Tickets for the Mad Hatters Tea Party are �4.95 and available on 01493 732635.