PARENTS, businesses, schools and community groups have rallied round to help raise thousands for a little girl with an aggressive form of cancer.

A 90-strong group of residents in Waverton has got on board a fundraising mission to collect £250,000 for the Anya Bentham Appeal.

Anya, of Christleton, who turns two next month, is currently receiving treatment at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital for neuroblastoma.

An appeal to pay for Anya to have pioneering treatment in America, which is not available on the NHS, has been set up.

About £25,000 has been raised from online donations alone, plus thousands more from a huge range of community fundraisers.

Suzanne Woodhouse, a close friend of Anya’s parents Naomi Stanley and Graeme Bentham, said: “The people of Waverton all got together immediately when we found out about Anya and have worked together to organise, promote and run a range of events.

“So far we have had success at a disco night at Boughton Cricket Club, a gambling night at the Boathouse and two coffee mornings.

“There are lots of these events still to come including a barn bash, auction, balloon race and Easter egg hunt.

“Everyone has pulled together and it has been overwhelming to see how generous people are.

“We are desperate to help Anya and have all worked hard to raise as much money as we can.”

Naomi said: “The fundraising group has been absolutely brilliant. We fully understand people don’t have as much money as they used to, so this is really heartwarming.

“It’s amazing the amount of effort people have put in – there was a charity boxing demonstration night last Saturday which was fantastic. It was held in my hometown of Connah’s Quay and so many people turned up, and it raised more than £4,000.”

Naomi said her daughter was showing plenty of fighting spirit herself.

“We always say she is a little fighter and she keeps her spirits up even after trips to the hospital.”

A Chester estate agents is one of the businesses which is showing its support.

Jayne Robb, lettings manager at Minchin Fellows, is hoping to raise money by taking part in the Chester Half Marathon.

She said: “I got quite upset when I read the story – she has got this aggressive cancer and is local so I thought we should all do something to help.

“I have been thinking of taking part in the half marathon every year, but this time, after reading about the appeal, I have decided to enter and raise money and will be setting up a Justgiving page.

“When I told the girls in the office they were very supportive, so we have decided to organise cake sales and we are all wearing bracelets to raise awareness of the Neuroblastoma Alliance charity.”

Christleton High School has also been doing its bit to help the appeal.

The school was made aware of the appeal through local parents and a cake sale run by Year 7’s K1 class proved to be one of the most successful ever held in the school grounds, raising more than £500.

People can donate to the appeal at