Saturday Night Takeaway: Twins win Florida holiday from Ant and Dec after raising cash for Dogs Trust Leeds

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Two young twins from a Leeds village were left in disbelief after their mammoth fundraising efforts were recognised by TV stars Ant and Dec, winning them a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Florida.

It was after the sad loss of their Jack Russell that 11-year-olds Hattie and Tilly Wells Thompson decided to embark on a project that saw them raise more than £500 for Dogs Trust Leeds. The achievements of the Monk Fryston Primary pupils were passed on to the team at Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and the girls were quickly invited to take part in ‘Saturday Night at the Movies’, a game in which families act out the plots of their favourite flicks while their teammates guess the film. To their surprise, Hattie and Tilly bagged the top prize – a six-night holiday to Universal Orlando Resort.

Their mum Charlotte said: "We couldn’t believe it. It was so exciting and also nerve-wracking taking part. The girls had said if they won money, which would have been £250 or £500, they’d have donated that to Dogs Trust but incredibly we answered all the questions correctly and won the holiday.”

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The girls were inspired to raise money for their nearest rehoming centre on York Road after seeing Dogs Trust Chief Executive Owen Sharp talking about the charity on TV. They were heartbroken after the loss of their 16-year-old pooch Jack last month, which spurred them on to organise games like ‘Spin the Wheel’, ‘Guess the Breed of the Dog’ and ‘How Many Treats are in the Jar’ at a recent non-uniform day. They also gave a presentation about the charity to their entire school.

Tilly (front) and twin sister Hattie met puppy Olive when they went to Dogs Trust Leeds to hand over the money they raisedTilly (front) and twin sister Hattie met puppy Olive when they went to Dogs Trust Leeds to hand over the money they raised
Tilly (front) and twin sister Hattie met puppy Olive when they went to Dogs Trust Leeds to hand over the money they raised

A later fundraising event at Bert’s Barrow pumpkin patch, which is run by their parents in Austfield Lane, saw them take their total to £550. The dedicated duo presented the money to Dogs Trust Leeds and were treated to a behind the scenes tour, when they met some of the dogs that will benefit.

Tilly said: “We love dogs and wanted to do as much as possible to help Dogs Trust Leeds after hearing about how many are in need of new homes. Having a tour and meeting the dogs, especially puppy Olive, was lovely. We are really pleased that what we have raised will help make sure they can have even more toys and treats until they go to their new homes. We are going to carry on raising money for Dogs Trust in memory of Jack.”

Dogs Trust Supporter Relations Officer Sean Daly said: “It was lovely to meet Tilly and Hattie and to be able to have the opportunity to say thank you to them for everything they have done, and are continuing to do, for our lovely dogs. We were delighted to find out they had won the trip to Florida, especially as they had gone through such a difficult time losing Jack whilst doing so much to help other dogs. Every penny they have raised will be spent on making sure our dogs can have the best lives possible until it’s their turn to head off with loving new families.”

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