Search

Fundraise on the First: Mums feel ‘part of something special’ thanks to First Step

PUBLISHED: 10:42 30 January 2015 | UPDATED: 10:42 30 January 2015

Sarah Dorrian and Clare Kelly with their families

Sarah Dorrian and Clare Kelly with their families

Archant

Two mums who have seen first-hand the impact of First Step’s care on children and families are set to watch their own youngsters join together to host a fundraising event.

Emma Kelly, Jacob Kelly and Connor Dorrian honing their baking skillsEmma Kelly, Jacob Kelly and Connor Dorrian honing their baking skills

Three of Sarah Dorrian and Clare Kelly’s children will be cracking out their mixing bowls and whisks today (Friday) for a cake sale at St Alban’s Catholic Primary School, in Heron Flight Avenue, Hornchurch, which they all attend.

Jacob and Emma Kelly, six and four, and Connor Dorrian, six, were inspired to participate in our campaign by their parents’ connections with First Step.

Sarah’s family is one of the many supported by the charity, based in Tangmere Crescent, Hornchurch.

Her second son Finlay, almost one, was diagnosed with the rare condition Williams Syndrome when he was three months old.

Sarah, 35, said: “There were lots of issues from birth, he didn’t feed very well and was born really small at 4lb 10.

“It was quite a shock to have such a tiny baby and we had to keep going back to the doctors and the health visitor.

“The third paediatric doctor looked and him and said, ‘I think he has got something’.

“It was very difficult, but at the same time I kind of knew there was something wrong.

“The diagnosis confirmed it and showed that I wasn’t being paranoid.”

Williams Syndrome is a condition caused by a chromosome abnormality.

It can affect brain development and lead to problems such as heart defects, kidney damage and muscle weakness.

Finlay was found to have a congenital heart defect and he had open heart surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital at the age of just six months.

It was after Finlay’s diagnosis that his family were referred to First Step.

Clare Kelly, 39, who, like Sarah, lives in Hornchurch, is one of the charity’s passionate staff members.

She has been the volunteer coordinator since November.

Clare, married to Matt, 37, said: “My children have been to First Step a few times and they just love it, they are really excited about the campaign.

“My daughter is not aware too much, but my son wanted to help and that is why they are holding the cake sale.

“Before I started at First Step I felt daunted because it is such an important charity, I didn’t want to let anyone down.

“But it is really lovely, the staff are so supportive and I feel we are part of something special.”

Sarah, whose husband Joe, 33, is running the London Marathon for First Step, said: “It’s been hard, but a positive thing is that Williams Syndrome adults and children are very over-friendly; they don’t have that social barrier.

“Finlay has just started to say hello to every single person who goes past him.

“It’s really sweet.”

Sarah said that the care provided by First Step staff is second to none.

“It’s a place where no one judges you or your child and you meet others going through exactly the same things.

“When Finlay first went he wasn’t really doing anything, he couldn’t play because he didn’t know what to do.

“But First Step have helped him to communicate.

“Music therapy was where he first started understanding his name; they were singing it and he was like, ‘That’s me’.”

To sponsor Joe, visit justgiving.com/Joe-Dorrian

Latest Romford News Stories

17:00

The store in High Street has been closed since the weekend.

15:00

A folk singer will be performing exclusive first airings of material from his new album in Romford.

13:00

The maximum parking fine in most parts of Havering is currently £110, but the council is now proposing that this is increased to £130 because of new parking pressures.

12:07

Richard House Children’s Hospice shops in Upminster, Hornchurch and Elm Park have joined forces with TV fashion expert Amber Butchart and will offering smart interview outfits for £10.

12:16

Staff sold tea and cake to customers and passers-by to raise money and awareness for the Royal National Institute for Blind People.

10:00

Instead of photographing the infamous Red Deer Rut in Richmond park, a Harold Wood photographer decided the fallow deer rut in Harold Hill would make for some great pictures.

07:00

House prices in Havering declined by 0.2 per cent in August despite witnessing a 1.5pc rise over the last 12 months.

Yesterday, 17:00

Hornchurch, Upminster and Romford are part of a large area that has been earmarked for conservation and community projects.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now