AROUND 40 people took a late-night stroll to raise about £2,000 for a charity dedicated to helping children suffering from cancer.

The Thomas Ball Children's Cancer Fund Midnight Dream walk took place last Friday night as participents went for a wander through Great Missenden and Prestwood, where the charity is based.

Elaine Ball, chair of the charity said: "We were very pleased with the response as all our volunteers were well sponsored so we expect to have raised at least £2,000 once all the money has been collected, possibly more.

"The highlight of the evening was the arrival of staff from TGI Fridays who burst on to the scene as a blaze of colour, with all participants wearing bright clothes trimmed with fluorescent accessories, it certainly lifted the atmosphere. We were also pleased to have a team of walkers from Marks and Spencer Amersham and local Estate Agents JNP.

"Our youngest participant Tamiah Sumner, aged nine years and the niece of Thomas Ball, was driven by the excitement and the target she had set herself to raise £500 for the cause. Tamiah managed to keep up with the adults who all finished in around two hours but suffered afterwards with sore feet."

After the walk a bedstead donated by Dreams in High Wycombe was raffled, won by TGI Fridays employee Kirsty Watson, who had been cooking bacon rolls in the kitchen. The charity was founded in 1998 by Thomas Ball who was then receiving treatment for a childhood cancer, neuroblastoma, diagnosed when he was eight years old.

Thomas, a pupil at the Misboune School in Great Missenden, died in 2003, aged 14. The Midnight Dream Walk takes place every June to mark the anniversary of his passing. Funds raised aim to benefit sick children and teenagers by offering free holidays, funding research and improvements to children's oncology wards.

The charity trustees thanked supporters, including Duracell, M & S Amersham, TGI Fridays & Dreams Beds in High Wycombe, nearby Co-ops and Sainsburys in Prestwood for donating all the supplies needed to ensure that 100 per cent of the money raised could go to charity.

To help Tamiah reach her target go to 

A fundraising Craft Market and Summer Fair will be at Missenden Abbey on Sunday, July 13, from 11am to 4pm. The trustees are appealing for any unwanted gifts for the tombola.

Please drop off items to High Quality Lighting, Wye Estate, London Road High Wycombe; JNP Partnership in Prestwood; or call 01494 890157 to arrange a collection.