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Ava's gonks raise cash for Willow Wood Hospice fund

An enthusiastic girl made Christmas tree decorations to raise a fantastic amount for Willow Wood Hospice, which supported her nan.  

Ava Knott crafted her own Gonks, which she sold at the Christmas Market and one of the Garden of Lights celebration evenings at the Hospice with her mum Cheryl.  

The 10-year-old from Ashton-under-Lyne made around 85 in total – some of them even travelled as far as France!  

The Holden Clough Community Primary School pupil raised £201.60, which will make a difference to patients with any life-limiting illness from Tameside and Glossop in Willow Wood’s care.  

Ava’s mum Cheryl said: “We also sold them to family and friends, and even friends of friends as other people heard about what she was doing and wanted to support her. We’ve done so many orders!  

“We suggested a donation of £2 for one, but some people donated as much as £6.”  

Helping the Hospice based in Ashton-under-Lyne is important to Ava’s family, and making the Gonks was a creative way for Ava to show her own support.  

Cheryl explained: “We lost my mum, Ava’s nan Lynn Elizabeth Knott, in October 2022 so Ava knows how much this has meant to us as a family. The Hospice supported us when we needed it.  

“It started off when my sister, Ava’s auntie Michaela, came around one day and, as the weather was bad outside, she suggested making some Gonks.  

“We got some wool out and then she said all we needed was a toilet roll holder. That’s how they started to make them.  

“Ava then carried on making them and then she asked me if we could sell them as we had been saying how good they were. She then came up with the idea of giving the money she raised to Willow Wood.   

“I put a Facebook post on with a picture of three of the Gonks, saying that Ava was thinking about selling these to raise money for Willow Wood in memory of her nan and before we knew it, orders were coming in. Every day, people were messaging asking for a particular colour.  

“She made a variety of colours and I helped her out with the gluing part but she’s done it mainly on her own, in her own time after school and at weekends. She’s been very enthusiastic about it.” 

Selling the festive-themed Gonks has encouraged Ava to think about more fundraising ideas for the Hospice.  

Cheryl said: “We’ve got Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day coming up and she’s been thinking about what she can do for those, so she’ll be busy over the next few weeks!”  

Ava is grateful for all of the support she has received so far.  

The youngster told us: “I want to thank my mum and my auntie Michaela for helping me and giving me the idea. My grandad Allan has also been very supportive.” 

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