Join kids’ entertainer in online superhero party for GOSH

A CHILDREN’S party being held on Zoom at the weekend will be raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The online event has been arranged by Zara Mizen from Old Woking, to celebrate the second anniversary of her Koala Kids Parties company.

Zara, as a Harry Potter wizard, helps to home school Jess

A similar event last year was planned to be held in a village hall but had to be called off when the first coronavirus lockdown was imposed.

Instead, Zara, who launched Koala Kids in March 2019, made video appearances to children celebrating birthdays or just in need of cheering up – raising £750 for the hospital and £175 for Woking Hospice.

Zara as Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast

For the first year, she was able to run children’s parties in homes or other venues, each with a particular theme. Zara dressed as the birthday boy or girl’s favourite character from books, films and TV shows.

After spending the past year doing video calls with the proceeds going to charity, Zara started running parties on Zoom for groups of children and also helping parents with home schooling.

She studied performing arts at the University of Surrey and spent several years working as an entertainer for a children’s party organiser before setting out on her own.

The Koala Kids Parties work during the coronavirus restrictions has earned it a nomination in the Against all Odds category of the Family Network national recognition awards.

The finalists will be announced next month and a virtual award ceremony will be held in May.

Zara as Spider Girl, who will host the Koala Kids Parties second anniversary celebration

With the virtual home schooling, parents arrange a day and time and send Zara the material their children will be covering.

“Then I appear during the home-schooling session and take over for an hour, giving the parents time off or a chance to do the chores they have had to put off,” said Zara.

Parents have given he lavish praise, with mum Anna Jolley saying of the home schooling: “It worked better than I could possibly have imagined.

“I got my daughter’s teachers’ comments back on the work she did and they were really impressed. My daughter got five house points, which has never happened before.”

Louise booked a Zoom party for her son’s seventh birthday during lockdown. “Zara did an amazing party,” she said. “The Minecraft theme was great, Daniel said he was impressed with Zara’s knowledge of Minecraft. She was able to keep all 30 children entertained.”

One little boy had a Paw Patrol video message for his third birthday. His mum, Lora, said: “He was so amazed he sat in silence for the entire thing and hasn’t stopped talking about her since.”

The Koala Kids Parties anniversary party is on Saturday 20 March from 2pm to 3pm, hosted by Spider Girl.

Children, and adults, are encouraged to dress up as their favourite superhero. They can take a photo of their experience at the party and send it to Zara, who will award free entertainment to the winning entry.

Tickets cost £6 and can be booked by emailing koalakidsparties@gmail.com or calling 07917 698303.

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