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»First Step is appealing for more volunteers to help with fundraising and raising awareness of the charity’s work to help children in the borough.

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The charity works with children with disabilities and special needs, providing support and advice for parents.

Laura Davies, 42, used the service with her daughter Katie, who has Down’s Syndrome. Katie attended the pre-school while Laura attended the family sessions.

After Katie, now five, left 15 months ago to go to school Laura decided to start volunteering.

She said: “There is nowhere else that can give that specialised care like First Step.

“I used to go with my little girl and when we stopped going I wasn’t prepared to just walk away from it and not give something back.

“I can’t tell you how important First Step is, not only for the child, but the family too.

“We used to go to the family sessions, and they really helped me and my other daughter.

“And meeting other parents and talking to them about their experiences was so valuable for me because they had an awful lot of knowledge to share.”

She now volunteers every Friday morning at the Mercury Mall giving information about the service to other potential users.

If you would like to volunteer you can get in touch with First Step on 01708 556355.

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