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Inspired by the story of a little ghost called Annie, The Real Mary King’s Close has chosen Edinburgh-based charity Radio Forth’s Cash for Kids as their charity partner in 2020. Globally renowned, Annie’s heartbreaking story is ours to tell. Especially since her tale helps us raise awareness and funds for the underprivileged children and families in the local area who benefit from Cash for Kids’ fundamental work and activities.
Paranormal investigations are no new phenomenon at The Real Mary King’s Close; rumours of inexplicable spirits and Victorian gentleman have often been muttered over the years.
Decades ago, during the 1990s, the Japanese medium Aiko Gibo visited the site that is now The Real Mary King’s Close. The psychic came to investigate The Close, searching for paranormal activity amongst our hidden streets. Walking into the bedroom of the 17th-Century house, she felt an overwhelming feeling of sadness. Terribly distressed by this emotion, she turned to leave only to feel a tugging on her trousers. She turned around, and a little girl stood before her. The wee lassie stated that her name was Annie and her family had abandoned her due to a terrible sickness.
Poor Annie was particularly distraught about misplacing her favourite doll. Touched by Annie’s sorrow, the psychic immediately ascended to The Royal Mile and purchased the first doll she could find, a tartan Barbie. She placed the toy in the 17th-century bedroom, feeling the sadness that had clouded the room previously disappear.
Still to this day, Annie’s story is known all over the world, and many visitors are touched by the unfortunate child’s account, abandoned in her time of need. Guests travel far and wide just to present her with toys, jewellery, and personal souvenirs. Many visitors also leave money behind, but we believe Annie is actually quite content with just the new toys she has got to play with. Therefore the monetary funds raised in her honour can help support kids today in equally unfortunate circumstances.
Cash for Kids is a national charity supporting less fortunate children in 22 local communities in the UK. The Edinburgh branch of the charity, Radio Forth’s Cash for Kids, supports children on our doorstep in Edinburgh, Falkirk, the Lothians, and Fife. 1 in 3 children live in poverty in the UK which amounts to an estimated 61,270 in the area Radio Forth’s Cash for Kids operates in.
Throughout the year, Cash for Kids put on multiple appeals such as Christmas Mission, the most significant gift appeal in the UK. In 2019 the campaign raised an astonishing £1.9 million which helped support over 50,000 children. Furthermore, Cash for Kids regularly supplies specialist equipment for disabled children, warm coats for the less privileged, and Christmas gifts for those in poverty.
In 2020 all of the money raised in Annie’s Room will be going straight to Edinburgh’s Cash for Kids. In March 2020, The Real Mary King’s Close was able to donate £2000 to assist children and families affected by the economic downturn. Additionally, The Real Mary King’s Close and its staff are taking part in fundraising activities. This will help gather additional funds for those members of our society who need it most.