December 13 2013 Latest news:
Safira Ali, Senior reporter
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
A Hornchurch children’s charity celebrated 25 years this week by burying a time capsule of memories.
First Step welcomed 130 people, including families, supporters, staff, friends and trustees to its site in Tangmere Crescent on Monday.
The event welcomed founders Gill Hare and Margaret Williams who talked about its history and buried the time capsule in the Sensory Garden.
It included the charity’s current newsletter, annual report, and memories book with messages from people at the Silver Celebration Ball in May.
And deputy mayor, Cllr Linda Trew, unveiled two plaques named after the founders following a consultation with staff to rename two rooms as the Margaret Williams Hall and the Gill Hare Training Room.
Mrs Williams and Mrs Hare started First Step in October 1988 by providing support to six families in the Methodist Church Hall, in Upminster.
It moved to Dunningford School, in Dunningford School, Hornchurch, in 1992 and as the charity grew it finally moved to its current site in 2006 after a £1.1m fundraising campaign for the new building.
Eileen Newman, First Step’s chair of trustees, said: “First Step started because there was a gap that needed filling and we would hope to be creative and innovatory and continue in the same way.
“Anyone who walks in here and spends a moment taking in what goes on here, knows and feels what a special place this is. Those of us who work or volunteer our time here know we have to do our best to ensure that it stays so.”
CEO Tricia Cowdrey said: “The occasion reinforced our vision for supporting pre-school children with special needs and/or disabilities, which is as relevant today as it was a quarter of a century ago.
“We are all so grateful for the continued support of our wonderful community and thank everyone who has helped us reach this milestone.”
A 41-year-old man has been stabbed at an address in Harold Hill.