Rihanna switches on the Westfield London Christmas lights December 2010

The children of Hornimans were shocked and surprised at being invited to Westfield shopping centre to meet the international pop star Rihanna and help her turn on the Christmas lights in December 2010.  It was a whirlwind of an evening and a night they will never forget.

The invitation came from Help a London Child, who had also at the time invited some of our children and staff to collect a cheque from Chelsea Football ground, from their club members who had organised fundraising events before a match.  If this wasn’t enough, a second invite was received and we happily accepted on behalf of our children.

Help a London Child were amazing supporters of Hornimans and helped to fund numerous projects over the years.   This time around it was the turn of a group of eight children who met up at Westfield with Help a London Child’s Hannorah, playworker Dean and organisers from Westfield.

The children were taken through the backstage area to the green room where a big spread of delicious food and drink had been laid on. Lindsey, the organiser ran through what was going to happen before they were led downstairs to the stage area. The children’s excitement grew as they saw the thousands of people who had come to watch Rihanna.

The host, TV’s George Lamb, introduced Rihanna on stage before bringing out the children. The switching on of the lights was accompanied by fireworks that were amazing. After the excitement the group were led back to the green room for more food and drinks, and were each given a free scooter from Westfield.   All in all, an unforgettable day for all our children!