Norfolk youngsters toddle off to raise money

Families from across Norfolk gathered in Norwich over the weekend to support a charity event raising awareness of the rare incurable genetic condition suffered by a three-year-old from Scarning.

Chantelle Bishop, of Horsham St Faith, organised the Easter Toddle event at Eaton Park in Norwich, to raise awareness of Ataxia-Telangiectasia (A-T) and to raise funds for the A-T Society after her niece Brooke Sprawling, was diagnosed with the condition last year.

Ms Bishop's sister Justine Sprawling, of Norman Close in Scarning, is the mother of Brooke and said that and although she appears to be a healthy toddler at the moment, it is likely she will be in a wheelchair by the time she is 10.

'We hope to do two events every year, one for the adults and one for the children,' she said.

'It is important to raise both funding and awareness as it really is a life-changing thing.'

Brooke is one of the youngest children in the country to be diagnosed with the disease, which affects about 3 people per million in the UK.

Over 50 children took part in the toddle event, which saw them and their families playing in the play area, walking to different stops with a basket to pick up gifts, and they got the chance to enjoy a picnic in the park at the end.

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Mrs Sprawling's neighbour, Lisa Hall, also attending the event and brought her children Anai, 2, Isla, 8, and Ashton, 11 as well as her nephew Finley Baker, 5.

She said: 'We thought it would be great to come along and help out.'

Ashton added: 'It has been really fun walking around and looking at what is around and in the boxes. My favourite Easter present was the chocolate eggs.

'I just hope that the little girl gets the help she needs.'

Businesses donationed Easter-related items to put in the baskets, including Waitrose in Norwich and Wilkinsons in Dereham, who donated gift vouchers.

Last year, Ms Bishop organised a 5k charity run which took place at the lake at the University of East Anglia. More than 40 people took part in the event, including 10 children and Brooke herself, and more than �1,500 was raised for the charity.

To find out more information or to donate money to the A-T Society, go to www.justgiving.com/chantelle-bishop

• donna-louise.bishop@archant.co.uk

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