World's first charity Embassy opens at Southport Pleasureland
Frankie Bowen raised the flag for the first time at the inauguration of the embassy at its opening today
The world's first children's charity Embassy at Southport Pleasureland was opened today.
The tourist attraction is now home to the Alder Hey children’s charity embassy, giving the charity a space to hold fundraisers on the grounds of the amusement park.
The park CEO, Norman Wallis, built the Embassy and hosted the event, attended by politicians, diplomats and VIPs as part of a celebration of the park’s adoption of the charity as its charity partner.
Speakers included Mr Wallis and charity CEO Fiona Ashcroft and the flag was raised by charity Ambassador eight-year-old Frankie Bowen.
Frankie Bowen made headlines when a video of him moonwalking to Billie Jean went viral, just two years after he woke up not being able to move.
Frankie was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and struggled to walk. He has since made great progress and has taken on a role at the Alder Hey Children's Charity.
He is now a charity ambassador for the children’s hospital and raised the flag for the first time at the inauguration of the embassy at its opening on June 1.
There was also a surprise visit at the event from Wonderland Ambassadors who opened proceedings.
Alice, the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts offered their best wishes and hopes that guests would enjoy a wonderful time.
Six child ambassadors attended, together with the leader of Sefton Council, Southport’s MP, the CEO of the Southport BID and CEO of Alder Hey Children’s Charity Fiona Ashcroft – and were joined by the Hon Consul for Romania, Mr Viorel Raducanescu and his wife.
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Ahead of the event Pleasureland CEO, Norman Wallis, said: “We are really happy to do this for Alder Hey Children’s Charity.
"They are our chosen charity and we want them to feel at home so we thought, what better way to do that than create an authentic ‘home from home’ with a dedicated Embassy.
“The charity raises vital funds to help make Alder Hey Children’s Hospital a truly world class, patient-friendly hospital for the 330,000 patients and families they care for each year and we are sure park visitors will consider supporting a charity that is so important to us all.”
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The idea has won backing from international diplomats including honorary consul of Tunisia Robert Burnett-Hughes, Consul of Iceland JA Brown and Honorary Consul of San Marino, Dr Maurizio Bragagni.
Dr Bragagni said: "The Honorary Consul of San Marino was very pleased to learn about the establishment of the first ever children’s charity embassy and would like to extend his warm wishes and every success toward fulfilling its noble mission.
"The Alder Hey Children’s Charity Embassy at Southport Pleasureland will play an important role in making sure park visitors will consider supporting a charity that is so important to us all and has proven to do such incredible work to improve healthcare."