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Hornchurch community group Joni's Army gains official charity status

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 June 2016

Joni-Mai Stevens with the bracelets made by her class mates as a charity fundraiser

Joni-Mai Stevens with the bracelets made by her class mates as a charity fundraiser

Archant

A community group launched in memory of a little girl who died of a rare bone cancer has become an official charity.

Joni’s Army, which gives help to families of sick children to raise funds for treatment that cannot be provided by the NHS, was given its charity status last week and members announced the good news on its Facebook page.

It said: “It’s with huge excitement that we announce to the world - Joni’s Army is an official charity!

“In Joni’s name we continue the fight to make better the lives of the small people that need us most.

“Thank you all so much for your continued support, long live Joni’s Army.”

The group was set up for Joni-Mai Stevens, a nine-year-old girl of Swanbourne Drive, Hornchurch, who was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma at the age of five, to help fund her treatment which could not be treated by the NHS.

Despite being given the all-clear when she was six, Joni-Mai developed another tumour while on holiday in New York in 2014.

Joni’s Army has already helped others by purchasing a special light projector for a little girl with a rare eye condition and have provided a sensory room for the autistic unit at RJ Mitchell Primary School, Tangmere Crescent, Hornchurch.

Holly, Joni’s mum, said: “We’re over the moon to finally be an official registered charity. It’s been a long process but we’re all very excited to be able to continue what we are passionate about. We’re very proud to be able to carry on our mission and hope that we can continue long into the future and keep Joni’s name alive in the hearts of many.”

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