Three-year-old raises £10,000 with challenge inspired by Captain Tom

Toddler raises more than £10k for Hornchurch charity

Freya completing her fourth Day of 100 steps for the Captain Tom 100 challenge. The three-year-old has now raised £10,187.17 for Hornchurch charity First Step. - Credit: First Step

A three-year-old girl with cerebral palsy has raised more than £10,000 for charity after taking on the Captain Tom 100 challenge.

Freya - whose mum doesn't wish to reveal her surname - was diagnosed with the condition at eight months old, and now attends First Step in Hornchurch where she works with early years leader Debbie Bennett.

Mum Emily signed Freya up for the challenge to give back to the facility, which she describes as a "Godsend".

It saw Freya walk 100 steps in her walking frame each day of the recent bank holiday weekend.

In the run up to the challenge, the fundraiser stood at £1,090 - way over its initial £1,000 target.

Toddler raises more than £10k for Hornchurch charity

Emily and Freya pictured alongside Debbie Bennett, First Step’s early years leader. - Credit: First Step

With the challenge now complete, Freya's fundraiser has raised £10,197 for the Hornchurch organisation, which has helped children with various specialist needs since 1988.

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The fundraiser is still open, but First Step chief executive Mark Halls congratulated Freya on the total so far: "Both Freya and her mum are an inspiration. They are examples of the children and families that we at First Step have the privilege and honour to support. It is truly humbling.

"Every day of their lives they fight to overcome the daily challenges they face, and strive to achieve the best possible future. We are so grateful for all those who have donated in support of Freya already.

Toddler raises more than £10k for Hornchurch charity

Freya's mum Emily has described First Step as a 'Godsend'. - Credit: First Step

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"We hope that people across Havering, London and the UK will take the story of Freya and Emily to their hearts as a mascot for all the other children and families we support."

The charity has kept one-to-one sessions going throughout this year's lockdown, ensuring its 79 families - including Freya's - have had consistent support during the pandemic.

Freya has been working with Debbie since January, and has been back at group sessions since the end of April.

Toddler raises more than £10k for Hornchurch charity

Freya's medal for completing the Captain Tom 100 challenge. - Credit: First Step

Freya was presented with a medal for completing the four days of 100 steps, and Mark said "it’s the very least we could do" to recognise her efforts.

Emily is delighted that Freya's fundraiser will help the facility she credits with giving her hope.

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