Strictly Come Dancing stars bring festive cheer to St Albans girl

Ayala Brooks with Jake Wood and Janette Manrara

Ayala Brooks with Jake Wood and Janette Manrara - Credit: Archant

Little cerebral palsy sufferer Ayala Brooks mixed with the stars at a charity Christmas party hosted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, in Downing Street.

Ayala, five, from St Albans was a guest of the Starlight Children’s Foundation which had granted her wish to swim with dolphins in August.

She was among 45 seriously-ill children invited to the party by the foundation which makes wishes come true for seriously and terminally ill children across the UK as well as providing entertainment for youngsters undergoing treatment in hospitals, hospices and at home.

Among the celebrities at the party were Pixie Lott, who opened it, Starlight Ambassadors Geri Halliwell and Nigel Marven, Strictly Come Dancing’s Jake Wood and partner Janette Manrara, members of McBusted, Professor Green, singer Ella Eyre, X Factor star Lauren Platt and children’s comedic double act Dick & Dom.

Actress and Starlight co-founder Emma Samms said: “This is such a joyous occasion at what I know is a difficult time for the families. Being able to forget about their illness and treatment even for a short time must be huge relief to the children.”