Star of country music and films Dolly Parton made a very special visit to Granta School in Linton before an evening show at Haverhill Arts Centre.
International tribute act Sarah Jayne, who performs as Dolly, heard that 16-year-old Issy, one of the students at the school for children with special needs, was Dolly’s biggest fan so she offered to make a personal appearance.
Patrick Jacobs, of Saffron Walden, who visits the school on behalf of The Laughter Specialists Charitable Trust said; “I work at Granta school as a ‘Laughter Specialist’ visiting every week with my colleague Annie Aris working with autistic children and perform magic, sing songs and generally interact using our skills as entertainers.
“I met Sarah Jayne and mentioned to her some time ago that Issy is a really big fan of Dolly.
“I was amazed she had remembered. Sarah Jayne is a top international cabaret star and it is wonderful that she would come along to spend some time meeting the children.
“It was a wonderful afternoon for all of the pupils and staff at Granta, it was a fantastic performance, and afterwards Dolly spent time to meet Issy and other students.
“The pupils absolutely loved it and it was just incredible to see their faces and their reactions! It goes without saying that Issy was truly made up - it was wonderful seeing her interacting and dancing!
“Sarah Jayne is an amazingly talented performer and was just fantastic with each and every pupil!
“The whole afternoon was fabulous...it spread a real feel of excitement and happiness throughout the school today and was most definitely an unforgettable event!
“Visits like this are really important and add to the children’s life experiences. They bring so much joy to the students who have a mixture of learning difficulties.”