Editor’s comment: Well done to First Step on 30th birthday

PUBLISHED: 08:00 24 February 2018

L-R: Debbie Bennett, Michelle Mitchell fundraising manager, Mark Halls CEO, Allie Marchington, Caroline Hood and Janet Hutchinson.

L-R: Debbie Bennett, Michelle Mitchell fundraising manager, Mark Halls CEO, Allie Marchington, Caroline Hood and Janet Hutchinson.


This week we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the charity First Step in Hornchurch.

The Recorder has been a strong supporter since it was launched to help families caring for children with disabilities.

In 2015 we ran a year-long campaign to help raise money with our Fundraise on the First appeal.

We have regularly featured stories about the charity’s good work and activities and so it is great to see it still doing so well 30 years on.

First Step began in October 1988 in response to a plea from some parents of young children with special needs and/or disabilities. They felt they, and others in similar situations, could benefit from a group where they would be able to talk, share experiences, and provide support for each other in a non-judgmental environment.

It now works with more than 100 pre-school children, and their families, offering education services, support, information and encouragement.

First Step’s mission is to provide the best possible environment to support each family and to enable their very young children with special needs and/or disabilities to maximise their individual potential.

Here’s to the next 30 years. Well done, First Step.

Last week I called on the mysterious drain man to get in touch about his terrifying experience of being stuck down a Romford sewer.

And he did just that. David Miller spoke to the Recorder before any other media outlet to tell his story.

But it still leaves questions about how he ended up injured in the sewer pipes which run underneath our streets.

Poor David still doesn’t remember how he came to be in the sewer, all he knows is it was dark, cold and he thought he would die there, unable to lift any manhole covers to get out.

Fortunately his shouts were finally heard, he was lifted out, has been having treatment for the injuries he suffered and can now try to get back to a normal life.

Latest Romford Stories

18 minutes ago

Raiders forward JJ Pitchley says the team have plenty of incentive to upset Basingstoke in the National League play-off semi-finals this weekend.

48 minutes ago

West Ham United attacker Michail Antonio has backed himself to help the club survive the drop.

The top two teams in the Bostik North go head-to-head at the Len Salmon Stadium this evening with plenty at stake


Leyton Orient face a crucial game at home to Woking in the National League with safety still not secured.

The Crow Lane club were without a fixture last weekend after their derby clash with Old Cooperians was called off just before kick-off


Former Coopers pupil Emily Defroand was delighted to earn a call-up to the England women’s team this week for the Commonwealth Games in Australia next month.


West Ham United attacker Michail Antonio was happy to help out cash-strapped Dagenham & Redbridge by playing in the Save the Daggers friendly.


Winger netted a hat-trick for non-league national team against Wales C on Tuesday


Fed up with haggling on people’s drives over a used car, only to find out later it’s on its last legs?

Many drivers will be heading to the showrooms in March looking to pick up a car bearing the shiny new 18 registration plate.

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Awards Directory

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now