About Us

The Mad Hatters Parties are events organised to lift the spirits of children with cancer or serious illnesses and disabilities. We have been running the parties for over 14 years and they are held at the Portsmouth Marriott Hotel. All of the funding for this is raised from donations, and any funds remaining are used to provide equipment for the children's wards and to give gifts and special trips for children who are very seriously ill.

Untitled-1The parties seem to get bigger and better each year and the photos from the last few parties are now in the gallery, to check them out you will need to register if you haven't already done so, if you have then log in. You'll then see a button labelled "Hatters Gallery" in the left-hand column. There is also lots about the parties on the Portsmouth News website and you can use our links to find all of their articles.

The party organisers are Malcolm Drew, Sue Boswell, our daughter Jenny Reeves with help from Danni & Rob.

We are lucky enough to have the assistance of a small team of wonderful volunteers who include :- Martine, Angie, Mary, Claire, and of course Nick & Chris  who took a lot of the photos and created this website!

The idea for the party came when our daughter Jenny was in the Piam Brown Ward at Southampton General Hospital with Leukaemia a few years ago and happily made a full recovery. There was a party organised in Southampton at the start of December each year by the hospital, but there was nothing for the children from the Portsmouth area and some missed the party through illness but were a little better after Christmas. Having worked as a DJ for many years at the Marriott Hotel and many other venues, it was easy for me to use all of my contacts to arrange the event in order to try to put something back - the rest is history!

As you will see in the photo gallery, the parties have been attended by several Mayors and Lord Mayors together with visits from Esther Rantzen, "Phil Mitchell" (Steve McFadden) and "Robbie" (Dean Gaffney) from Eastenders, Fred Dinenage, Des Paul and Ben Glover the presenters from Power FM, and also the police and fire service. We have Daleks, Stormtroopers, luxurious limousines and even a zoo! The entire cast of the Kings Theatre Pantomime came one year in full costume having dashed off stage at the end of their performance and jumped into waiting taxis!

Players and staff of Portsmouth Football club such as Milan Mandaric, David Nugent, Steve Claridge, Alan Knight, Linvoy Primus, Lua Lua, Andy Awford, Frogmore & Mary Roase come and join in the fun and sign autographs and many others too numerous to mention.


The success of the fund raising for the parties has enabled us to not only pay for all of the party entertainment, prizes and presents etc. but in addition to that, we have been able to provide presents for children in hospital, equipment such as TV's, games, laptops, a wheelchair etc. for the children's wards and to provide trips for seriously ill children who have a particular wish. For example we have arranged trips to Cadburyland, Marwell zoo, trips out for families from the hospital ward, tickets and transport to a Robbie Williams and Diversity concerts and a trip to DisneyWorld Florida. We have also arranged visits to Hampshire Cricket club to meet the England & Australia Test teams, to Portsmouth Football club to meet the players, and to see Portsmouth FC at Wembley!