Island Life Magazine Ltd December 2008/January 2009 - Page 8

life YOUR LETTERS FOREWORD What a difference a bear makes Christmas is a time for giving, and at Bayliss & Booth, the inspirational antique and interiors shop, if you buy one of their special teddy bears, £1 will be given to Naomi House, the children’s hospice. Naomi House is a purpose-built children's hospice near Winchester, which provides a homely environment for children and young people who have conditions that mean that they will not live to become adults. For 24 hours a day, the hospice offers respite care, and supports those suffering from terminal illness and who are bereaved. This costs around £2.5 million each year, and with just 10% of our income coming from government, Naomi House relies on the generosity of people in the community to continue its work. Thanks to the advances in 8 Nativity of NatFest medical science, many young people are growing up to become young adults, and Naomi House is challenged to create facilities for their needs, which are very different from those of young children. Naomi House has consulted the young people themselves in the design of a facility to cater for their medical and social needs. It will cost £6 million to create “Jack’s Space”. Bayliss & Booth has been inspired to help the hospice to make a difference to the young people with life-limiting illnesses with their bears, Bailey and Bess. Anyone spending over £40 will be given one free. A delightful display of nativity scenes in all shapes, sizes and materials brings alive the real meaning of Christmas, at Christ Church, Totland Bay. Knitted stables, marzipan shepherds, pottery Marys – NatFest is a celebration of the different ways the story of the birth of Jesus is interpreted by artists and craftsmen, in this country and overseas. A little velvet pill box opens to reveal the holy family and the stable animals, made in silver and just millimetres high. Rotund, thumb-sized figures are the American Indian interpretation. Olive wood from the Holy Land is carved into the Virgin and Child. Or clear glass is formed into a stunningly simple baby Jesus. NatFest organiser Sue Witt says: “The idea came from when my husband Geoff and I were in Stratford and visited a local church that had a similar event. We just found it so refreshing in the hubub of Christmas to find something which made us stop and think why we celebrate it.” She expects the exhibition to grow next year as art and craft businesses get involved. A children’s colouring area will allow adults to sit with a cup of coffee while they think about the real meaning of Christmas. To contribute an exhibit, email ccnatfes@aol.com. Christ Church, Totland, 15 – 18 December, 10am-4pm jacksplace@naomihouse Bayliss & Booth, Unit 10, Riverway Industrial Estate, Newport, PO30 5UU. Tel: 528600 The Island's new funky radio station www.wightfm.com