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Sweets taste of success for Edward

Made your New Year Resolutions yet? Broken them already? Ten-year-old Edward Marsh of Abbots Langley made his on January 1 - 2007 that is - and he's kept it for a miraculous 365 days - surely a record?

For Edward, of Ash Close, a pupil at York House School in Croxley Green, vowed to abstain totally from eating any sweets or chocolate for the whole year - with an incentive prize of 365 at the end of it all.

His parents believed that this boy who loved his sweets would surely never succeed.

But Tuesday, January 1, was tuck-in day and Edward had a party with a few friends and his family to celebrate the end of his
self-imposed fast.

It was all his own idea - and he had agreed to give 200 of his winnings to charity.

Even if he lapsed on December 31 he would not have been given any of the money.

But charity is close to the hearts of the Marsh family.

The Watford Social Centre for the Blind will receive 100 in memory of Edward's great granny, Rene Milton.

This is a local charity set up by Mrs Milton more than 50 years ago to provide support and a social environment for the local visually impaired.

It is now run by his granny, Susan Harper, and his mum, Jenny is a trustee.

It is a totally voluntary organisation dependent on donations to continue running. It does not receive help from any other charities for the blind.

The other 100 will be presented to Leukaemia Research in memory of Edward's paternal granddad, Bruce Marsh, who died in 2006 after a brave fight against the illness.

The charities have been the inspiration behind Edward's determination not to give up. Various parts of the year have been particularly hard, especially Easter and when fellow class members give out sweets for birthdays.

His loss has been gain for six-year-old brother Michael who has been on the receiving end when gifts have been passed on.

Fortunately, giving up on the sweet stuff was not a weight issue for Edward. He's a keen sportsman, runs with Watford Harriers and is an enthusiastic cross-country runner.

January 1, 2008 was eagerly anticipated - he was just dying for a jelly-tot.

Source: Hemel Gazette

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