Three-year-old raises more than £1,000 ahead of taking on Captain Tom challenge

Hornchurch charity Sir Captain Tom 100 challenge

Three-year-old Freya is set to take on the Sir Captain Tom 100 Challenge for Hornchurch charity First Step. - Credit: First Step

A three-year-old girl with cerebral palsy is set to take on the Captain Tom 100 Challenge for a Hornchurch charity.

Scheduled for the upcoming bank holiday - on what would have been Captain Sir Tom Moore's 101st birthday - three-year-old Freya will walk 100 steps in her walking frame each day of the long weekend.

All proceeds raised will go to Tangmere Crescent charity First Step, which has helped Havering children with various specialist needs since 1988.

Amongst its current cohort is Freya, whose mum chose the challenge to give back to an organisation she describes as a "Godsend". 

Emily - who doesn't wish to reveal Freya's surname - said: "Freya was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at eight months old after suffering a traumatic birth that led to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) grade two brain damage due to oxygen deprivation.

"This affects all four limbs, which makes it hard for Freya to carry out everyday challenges such as walking.

"First Step has given us hope and got us prepared for Freya to start a mainstream nursery soon."

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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 alongside early years leader Debbie Bennett since January, and is now attending group sessions which recommenced on Thursday, April 22.

At £1,090, Freya's fundraiser has already smashed its initial £1,000 target ahead of this weekend. 

The charity is hoping donations will flood in over the coming days, with every penny set to go toward maintaining these vital services. 

Chief executive of First Step, Mark Halls, said: "We may take for granted being able to walk wherever we want, but for some of the children that attend First Step, both they and their families put a huge amount of effort into completing many basic tasks.

"This provides a unique opportunity for our many supporters to get behind Freya and her family, and any support for Freya's challenge will be much appreciated."

The Captain Tom 100 Challenge runs from Friday, April 30 - Captain Tom's birthday - to Monday, May 3. 

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