A Huntingdonshire town came together for a weekend of fundraising, a fete, and flying teddy bears.

On Sunday, June 23, the town of Godmanchester took on a fundraiser for local lad, Harry Houghton.

At the age of four, Harry started to show signs of vision loss. By the age of 11 he'd lost his sight completely, and in 2019 he was taken to Great Ormond Street Hospital and was diagnosed with juvenile Batten's Disease, for which there is no cure.

Harry loves being outdoors and engaging with sensory experiences while out and about, so all the money raised over the weekend will be put towards making his garden a safe space to explore.

One of Harry's favourite things to do is hold the Mayor's Chain and feel the different textures and workings.

Harry Houghton and Cllr Alan Hooker talking about the Mayor's Chain.Harry Houghton and Cllr Alan Hooker talking about the Mayor's Chain. (Image: Cllr Alan Hooker)

Some of the fundraising efforts included a 12 hour paddleboard marathon, taken on by Jan Goodey, Harry's auntie.

At midnight that night, Jan set off from the Godmanchester Chinese Bridge up stream to Brampton lock. She did this 12 times over and midday, and was supported by a team of kayakers who carried some refreshments for her. 

She was joined by Lauren Hurst, who had to retire on the sixth lap after suffering an asthma attack.

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Other fundraising activities also included games, stalls and a raffle. There were performances from local bands Tenmoku and New Route.

The remaining funds have been donated to the Batten's Disease Family Association, who give daily support to families like Harry's.

Harry as the DJ of the night.Harry as the DJ of the night. (Image: Cllr Alan Hooker)

The weekend also saw the return of the Godmanchester Church Fete and the annual teddy jump.

Reverend David Busk and the Mayor of Godmanchester, Cllr Alan Hooker, took a tub of teddies up the ancient staircase of the church ready to launch from the Church Spire.

The teddies were brought in from several children and adults, and most were kitted out with a parachute. The aim was to get the teddies to land as close to the tub on the ground as possible.

The annual teddy bear jump took place up the Godmanchester Church Spire.The annual teddy bear jump took place up the Godmanchester Church Spire. (Image: Cllr Alan Hooker)

All of the teddies received a certificate of bravery, and the winner, Mrs Stella Howard, received a winners prize.

Stella brought along a teddy called Fudge, which she's had for 60 years. Stella, who is described as a "local legend", is a familiar face in Godmanchester as she also ran the local playschool for many years.

Stella Howard won the teddy bear jump.Stella Howard won the teddy bear jump. (Image: Cllr Alan Hooker)

The Church Fete also saw lots of stalls and activities taking place in the Church Yard. Background music throughout the day was provided by the talented Thrapston Town Band, who hail from Northamptonshire. 

Thrapston Town Band performed at the Church Fete.Thrapston Town Band performed at the Church Fete. (Image: Cllr Alan Hooker)

It was an extremely busy weekend for the town of Godmanchester, but a brilliant time spent fundraising for local people in the community.