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Save First Step: Romford mum's luxury pamper event helps raise more than £1,000 for Hornchurch charity

PUBLISHED: 15:00 12 June 2019

Havering Council's deputy mayor, councillor John Mylod with Lisa Stevens.

Havering Council's deputy mayor, councillor John Mylod with Lisa Stevens.

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A Romford mum raised more than £1,000 for a Hornchurch charity at a shopping and pampering event she described as "buzzing".

Store holders set up at Lisa Steven's pamper event for First Step on Wednesday, June 5. Picture: Sinead MillerStore holders set up at Lisa Steven's pamper event for First Step on Wednesday, June 5. Picture: Sinead Miller

More than 50 people, including deputy mayor Cllr John Mylod and his wife, walked through the doors of St Augustine's Church in Birbeck Road, Rush Green last week for the fundraiser in aid of First Step which provides support for youngsters with disabilities.

"I just want to say a massive thank you for all the people who came to the event," organiser Lisa Stevens said. "Without you, I wouldn't have an event."

More than £1,000 was raised for First Step, which faces the possibility of closing due to lack of funds.

The charity is close to Lisa's heart. She gets emotional when she talks about it.

Store holders set up at Lisa Steven's pamper event for First Step on Wednesday, June 5. Picture: Sinead MillerStore holders set up at Lisa Steven's pamper event for First Step on Wednesday, June 5. Picture: Sinead Miller

Her daughter Charlotte has Down syndrome and received support from the charity.

"Charlotte would use their sensory room at first," Lisa told the Recorder. "The staff really brought her out of herself."

Charlotte now attends the RJ Mitchell Primary School.

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"But I still know if I need them, they're there," Lisa said.

So when she heard the beloved charity was having financial difficulties, Lisa knew she had to take action.

"There isn't anything else like it around," Lisa said. She said the services its staff provides are essential to the community.

Lisa said this area is community focused, and she feels honoured to live here.

Havering Council's deputy mayor, councillor John Mylod with Lisa Stevens.Havering Council's deputy mayor, councillor John Mylod with Lisa Stevens.

Nine stall holders and six therapists providing shopping opportunities, spiritual healing, back massages and more.

Hours of work created a lively atmosphere and generated an impressive amount in fundraising.

"There were smiling faces all around," Lisa said.

While she is looking forward to a break after such intense planning, Lisa said she is open to possibly doing another event in the future. For the time being, she said there are other First Step fundraising events coming up and there is always an option to donate online at justgiving.com/firststep.

"I've never done this before," Lisa said. "All I wanted it to be was a success. And it was."

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