Published: 06 August, 2010
by RÓISÍN GADELRAB
SINGER Leona Lewis paid a low-key visit to youngsters at a Highbury charity on Wednesday night, stopping to pose for a picture with each child individually.
As the children waited for X-Factor star Ms Lewis to arrive – only 20 minutes late, “not bad for a diva”, remarked one volunteer – they played in the garden of the Chestnut Community Hall in Highbury’s Chestnut estate.
Charity Amberliegh runs free summer courses for disadvantaged children and chart-topping singer Ms Lewis is the patron, as well as a close friend of many of the volunteers.
She spent more than an hour posing for photos and signing autographs as the children waited in line for their turn to meet their idol.
Amberliegh ran into some difficulties when searching for a bigger place to host this year’s summer course.
But then St Mary Magdalene Church in Holloway Road stepped in by offering the use of the church hall for free for the entire three weeks.
Amberliegh coordinator Akunna Nwanna-Skeete said: “We want to acknowledge St Mary Magdalene Church. They opened their doors to us when others would not accommodate a charity trying to deliver a project that would be free for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“We don’t charge them, we want them to be off the streets. A lot of the children would never have been able to go to a play scheme if they had to pay.”