Manland Primary School pupil, 9, cheered on by half-a-million at Lord Mayor’s Show parade in London

Eva Higgins of Harpenden at the London Lord Mayor's Show parade

Eva Higgins of Harpenden at the London Lord Mayor's Show parade - Credit: Photo supplied

A brave nine-year-old from Harpenden joined the fun and festivities at last weekend’s spectacular Lord Mayor’s Show parade, cheered on by a crowd of around half a million people.

The fundraising exploits of Eva Higgins, who attends Manland Primary School, have regularly featured in the Herts Advertiser as she has raised about £5,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

Last year Eva was rushed to hospital with her heart pounding at a scary 240 beats per minute, and she underwent heart surgery earlier this year.

While Eva was awaiting the operating theatre, the youngster told her parents that she wanted to raise money for the hospital – which she has done through a range of events, supported by Harpenden residents and businesses.

Eva recently won the young achiever category of this year’s Herts Advertiser Community Awards.

In light of her achievements, the team at Premier Inn invited her to join them at the parade in recognition of her incredible fundraising efforts.

The float was designed to highlight the partnership between the hotel chain and the hospital charity, and featured characters from Peter Pan flying across the London skyline, alongside artwork by children from the hospital who helped decorate it with pirate ships, birds and sea creatures.

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Peter Pan has a special connection to GOSH as J M Barrie gifted the rights to the play to the hospital in 1929.

The Lord Mayor’s Show has floated, rolled, trotted and marched its way through 800 years of London history, and is one of the world’s best-loved pageants.

Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants, which runs Premier Inn, is aiming to raise £7.5 million towards the Premier Inn Clinical Building, a new state-of-the-art centre at GOSH which will provide more space, privacy and comfort for patients and their families.

Over £5 million has already been raised for the hospital, renowned for treating children from across the UK with some of the rarest and most complex conditions.