A special pair and a very fun Fair

The annual Very Special Kids Fair, held on Saturday 25 November from 9am to 3pm, is the ultimate family day out, that from the outside looks like your regular, fun-filled community event.

To many however, the day and their contribution to the day, means much more.

It has almost been five years since Paul and Helen Brennan lost their very special granddaughter, Holly, who was just three-years-old at the time. Since then, the two have dedicated a large amount of their time and positive spirits to children’s charity, Very Special Kids, who supported the family during the trying time in 2003.

One special way Paul and Helen assist Very Special Kids is by volunteering at the Fair, and whilst they have become involved in many activities, the Fair is particularly special to the two, especially because they attended as guests when Holly was still alive.

Holly was born severely brain damaged, and at just 12-months-old started staying at the Very Special Kids Hospice. Holly’s parents Luke and Prue, were exceptionally grateful that the respite service was available, and that they had the option for Holly to die somewhere like home, that had the medical assistance required.

“She was in for end-of-life care for 10 days and her parents stayed in the amazing family accommodation, it was good because they were able to have a plan when they didn’t feel like they could control anything else” explained Helen.   “The peace and serenity at the hospice made it the perfect setting for a very difficult time” said Paul.

“Volunteering is my way of saying thank you, for the assistance, that the Brennan family were given, in those stressful trying times.”

“The warmth and appreciation that everybody at Very Special Kids shows volunteers, not just us but all, and the way that they are thanked and respected, it’s why people like to come here.”

Kristi Ingrilli, Fundraising Lead for Special Events at Very Special Kids, describes Paul and Helen’s contribution as “nothing short of invaluable. The warmth, generosity and energy they bring to every event and activity is unique and treasured amongst the staff and families that Very Special Kids support.”

This year Paul will be across the road at Malvern Town Hall helping with the Fashion Sale, and Helen will be assisting with the flower stall at the Fair.

Held on the beautiful grounds of Very Special Kids in Malvern, the Fair has a vast array of homemade cakes and preserves, fresh flowers and plants, quality toys and baby goods, as well as craft and home wares that make perfect Christmas gifts. Younger members of the family can also enjoy performances from much-loved children’s characters and activities such as face painting, bungy trampolines, an animal farm and Santa photos.

On the same day, just a short walk across the road at Malvern Town Hall is the Fashion Sale, where thousands of ladies and men’s quality clothing items will be on sale at up to 90% off. It’s the perfect excuse for some retail therapy that won’t empty your wallet.

Very Special Kids helps more than 900 families across Victoria who have a child with a life-threatening condition with ongoing support from diagnosis all the way through to recovery or bereavement.

The free-of-charge family support services include counselling, advocacy, sibling support, bereavement support, networking and peer activities, trained family volunteers and specialist care at the Very Special Kids Hospice.

To find out more information about the Fair head here.
To find out more information about the Fashion Sale head here.