COUNTY NEWS: Pupils join nationwide virtual flash mob to help sick little girl

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Schoolchildren are being signed up for a flash mob style charity event, culminating in a nationwide simultaneous performance.

The Dance4Daisy campaign was launched nationwide by Havant company The PE Suite, an innovative teaching resource that challenges children to a greater depth of learning.

The campaign aims to raise funds for four-year-old Daisy Wigginton from Bracklesham Bay, who has cancer, and the Howard One Ward, where she is receiving treatment.

Sue Dent, director at The PE Suite, said: “As well as being a meaningful community project that will unite primary schools and raise money for a very brave little girl, Dance4Daisy will give teachers an engaging and fun focus for their PE lessons in the coming weeks.”

The campaign aims to sign up schools for a six-week programme of virtual dance tuition, culminating in a simultaneous nationwide performance on April 6.

The free tuition will be delivered via interactive whiteboards and will bring PE lessons to life with a professionally choreographed routine to Daisy’s favourite song, Pharrell Williams’ Happy.

During PE classes in the weeks leading up to the event, children will learn the professionally-choreographed Dance4Daisy routine. At no cost to the schools, tuition will be delivered by The PE Suite in a fun way through videos shown on interactive whiteboards and projectors.

The video will break the dance down using slow motion and freeze frame, along with key teaching prompts to allow teachers to effectively teach children the dance. The classes adhere to the national curriculum and best practice PE teaching.

Then at 11am on April 6, all the children at each school will congregate in the hall or outside to perform the dance simultaneously in a virtual flash mob style dance across the country.

Schools are being encouraged to film their school to be streamed to the PE Suite website and its staff will also be on location filming the event.

Each child taking part is asked to make a voluntary contribution of £1 and will be awarded a medal from Cancer Research.

To take part in this free, fun event, which will generate much-needed support for brave Daisy in addition to being an excellent way engage children in PE over the coming weeks, schools should email sue@thepesuite.com or visit thepesuite.com/dance4daisy-nationwide-charity-dance-event for more information.

Daisy Wigginton lives in Bracklesham Bay with her sisters Primrose, five, and baby Willow, three months.

Daisy was diagnosed with a cancerous lymphoblastic lymphoma in her lung in November. Since then, her parents have been juggling child care while she receives chemotherapy and steroids around the clock in hospital.

It has left the family in a worrying financial predicament and they have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help them through.

Funds raised will be used to support the family in daily life and to buy equipment to improve the children’s lives on the ward, such as fridges and freezers for cold drinks and ice lollies.

Ria Wigginton, Daisy’s mum, said: “Daisy is so excited about the Dance4Daisy event. She loves dancing to this song with her sister and can’t wait to see how many kids learn the routine for her.

“I can’t wait to see her face as she watches it. We’re really grateful to all the schools who are keen to get involved and help raise funds to bring a bit of happiness to all the kids on the ward.”

Ria and husband Darren describe their daughter as a cheeky little thing.

She had a persistent cough that was first diagnosed by the GP as a lower chest infection. Antibiotics did not help, so it was then diagnosed as asthma but the inhaler she was given did not work either. One weekend in November, she was lethargic and boiling hot, so was taken to A&E to been seen.

“She just was not her usual self. After listening to her chest with a stethoscope, doctors were concerned that air was not coming out of one lung. After having an X-ray, they could see that Daisy had a collapsed lung and a tumour squashing her airways. After more tests, biopsies and scans we were told that Daisy has T -cell lymphoblastic lymphoma, a type of cancer. Since this diagnosis, our worlds have fallen apart.”

Ria and Darren said they are unable work, as one of them always has to stay by Daisy’s side, day and night.

“Everything seems a little too much for us at the moment and we are giving our all to make sure that Daisy gets better and beats this disease. Daisy should be living like any other child of her age but instead is in bed and very wobbly on her feet, feeling unwell and tired. This is a huge contrast from the child that she once was - she loved being outdoors on her bike or playing with her sisters but now has lost all interest. We really could do with a little help to ease some of the burdens of life right now.”

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