Disabled North Walsham youngster says thank you to Mundesley pre-school with fundraising walk

Abbie-Rae MacGowan, 3, pictured with her mum Sian, will be walking a mile for charity in aid of Pebbles Nursery which has helped her overcome her issues with a rare form of autism.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY Abbie-Rae MacGowan, 3, pictured with her mum Sian, will be walking a mile for charity in aid of Pebbles Nursery which has helped her overcome her issues with a rare form of autism. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Friday, August 2, 2013
4:59 PM

Smiling happily as she holds her mum’s hand, Abbie-Rae MacGowan takes a stroll in the sunshine in preparation for a charity challenge.

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The three-year-old suffers from epilepsy and Rett Syndrome - a rare condition which limits her communication and mobility - but she will be walking a fundraising mile to say thank you to the north Norfolk nursery which has helped her so much.

Since last May she has attended Pebbles Pre-School in Mundesley where staff have helped her develop and enjoy childhood activities while supporting her family.

In the autumn the youngster, from Howlett Close, North Walsham, will be going to Sheringham Woodfields School but will be saying a special goodbye to Pebbles, by walking her fundraising mile with mum Sian on August 31.

Mrs MacGowan, 31, said: “Pebbles have been so accommodating, they have literally bent over backwards for her and just been amazing.

“As a thank you for everything they have done we thought we could buy personalised gifts but we wanted to leave something behind, and the best way to do it was to raise some money for them. The walk will be a massive achievement (for Abbie-Rae) as well as doing something personal for the school.”

Mrs MacGowan, a mum of four, said she did not have a target in mind and just wanted to raise as much money as possible.

Pebbles’ manager Caroline Pilcher thought the walk was a “lovely idea”.

She added: “When Abbie-Rae first came here her mum and dad didn’t have the diagnosis (for Rett Syndrome) so we have been on a bit of a journey with them.

“The focus has been on her being happy and having a lovely time and she absolutely loves it. She’s had a very special relationship with her key worker Kerry Lester, who has been fantastic.

“Hopefully she’s going to come back in the holidays so it won’t be completely goodbye just yet.”

● To donate to Abbie-Rae’s walk visit Pebbles at the Sure Start children’s centre in Trunch Road or call Mrs MacGowan on 01692 615228.

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