Tough lesson inspires fete for Africa

Isabelle Hopkins and mum Niki Hopkins of Buckingham have overcome bedtime problems.'130411M-A710
Isabelle Hopkins and mum Niki Hopkins of Buckingham have overcome bedtime problems.'130411M-A710

A five-year-old from Buckingham has inspired a fundraising event for African children less fortunate than herself after she received a tough lesson from her mother.

Every night as Isabelle Hopkins was put to bed she would delay going to sleep by telling her mother Niki she was starving.

After a while her mother got fed up and decided to show her a picture of a genuine starving child in Africa.

Mrs Hopkins said her daughter was so moved by the image she asked her mum what she could do to help .

On Sunday, May 19, there will be a fete at the Westbury Cricket Pavilion to raise money for the Start Small charity which helps children and families in Kenya.

Isabelle will also carry out a solo duathlon, and members of the Brackley and Buckingham rugby teams have signed up for a tug of war.

Mrs Hopkins said: “When I showed her the picture of a starving child in Africa she got really upset and basically said she wanted to do something to raise money.

“I’m not one to mollycoddle the children and it has been an ongoing thing. But now she knows what they go through.

“Even now she says ‘mummy I’m starving,’ and when I give her a look she remembers the picture.

“Now she’s very aware of people that are not in the position were are in, and that lots of children don’t have the home comforts we’ve got.”

The fete starts at 11am and Isabelle is planning to run one lap of the cricket field, then two laps on a bicycle, then a final lap on foot at around noon, supported by family and friends from Buckingham Primary School.

Alongside her feat of endurance there will be a dog show, a barbecue, face painting, tombola, and children’s games.

Top prizes in a raffle include a Northampton Saints shirt signed by the current team and a weekend stay at Whittlebury Hall.

Start Small is a UK based charity working in Nakuru, Kenya, one of the towns hit by post election violence with families still living in camps four years on.

You can support the charity or donate a raffle prize at, or call 07595 307510.

For more about the charity visit