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Save First Step: Nursery and residents organise events to raise funds for Hornchurch disability charity

PUBLISHED: 17:00 01 April 2019

Frank Dear who attends Ladybird Nursery in Rainham, has a cousin who receives support at Hornchurch disability charity First Step. Frank joined the nursery in raising funds for First Step,

Frank Dear who attends Ladybird Nursery in Rainham, has a cousin who receives support at Hornchurch disability charity First Step. Frank joined the nursery in raising funds for First Step,

Archant

Raffles, a picnic and an 80s night are some of the fundraisers people in the borough are holding to help save a Hornchurch charity from closure.

Rainham's Ladybird Nursery held a Teddy Bears picnic to raise money for Hornchurch disability charity First Step.Rainham's Ladybird Nursery held a Teddy Bears picnic to raise money for Hornchurch disability charity First Step.

First Step in Tangmere Crescent has provided support for youngsters with disabilities or special needs for more than 30 years.

However due to cuts and financial difficulties, the charity now has to raise £250,000 to avoid closure.

The Ladybird Nursery in Ryder Gardens, Rainham held a Teddy Bears picnic and raffle on Thursday, March 28, to raise funds.

Hannah Dudley, who works at the nursery, said: “We’ve always told our parents about First Step. It’s a really good support network.

Rainham's Ladybird Nursery held a Teddy Bears picnic to raise money for Hornchurch disability charity First Step.Rainham's Ladybird Nursery held a Teddy Bears picnic to raise money for Hornchurch disability charity First Step.

“We’ve had lots of support from local businesses for the raffle. The Good Intent pub is putting together a hamper which they’re going to raffle of for us.

“We are very pleased with the money raised in such a short amount of time and we hope this can encourage other nurseries to hold similar events in support of First Step.”

Sera Turkdogan is organising an 80’s charity night on May 5 in Pandora’s Wine Bar in Hornchurch’s High Street.

Her son was born with a respiratory condition and attended First Step from 2016 to 2018 before he started reception.

Speaking about the moment she found First Step might be closing, Sera said: “I was completely gutted.

“The idea of any families going through what I’ve been through and potentially missing out with such an amazing service is awful.”

Sera’s partner Kenny Morrissey will be the DJ for the night where guests can look forward to a raffle, a prize for the best fancy dress and some popular 80’s classic tunes.

“[The 80’s night] is for a very worthy cause,” said Sera.

“Just by buying a ticket and coming to the event you are potentially contributing to help First Step avoid closure.”

Upcoming events at First Step include a quiz night on Saturday, June 15, Bandeoke at The Crumpled Horn in Upminster on Thursday, July 25 and The Havering Step2IT 5k on Wednesday, June 12 which is sponsored by Grove & Dean.

Visit firststep.org.uk for more information.

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