A fabulous morning of fun was enjoyed by toddlers this week to raise money for charity.
The sell-out summer special sessions on Tuesday (August 24) at Dersingham Village Centre were organised by baby and toddler activity providers Munchkin and Me and Little City Norfolk to raise money for the Eilidh Brown Memorial Fund.
Sessions started with a sensory story-journey, which involved messy play breakfast-time fun and an exciting bus ride through magical bubble rain to transport the tots to Little City’s wonderful role-play world.
In the ‘City’ little ones got to spend an hour exploring the different themed role-play areas including: a fire station, vets, hairdressers, builders yard and much more.
Katrina Cotterell attended the event with her children Holly (3) and Lewis. “Lewis was engrossed, she said. "He loved Mabel Monkey and Oscar Orangutan and Holly loved dancing to the music.”
Stephanie George, mum to Imogen aged 18 months, added: “Imagen loved the freedom to play and she was interested in all of the different sections. There wasn’t five seconds of boredom - she loved it all.”
Former teacher Rachel Curtis, from Munchkin and Me, who is also running the Yorkshire Marathon in October for the Eilidh Brown Memorial Fund, said she and Anna Knight, from Little City Norfolk, had been working together through the Covid pandemic to support each other virtually.
"We both set up at the same time, about six months before Covid took hold," Rachel explained. "We both worked hard to keep our businesses going through that time and supported each other virtually.
"We are now back to doing face-to-face sessions which is absolutely wonderful, but when Anna heard I was running a marathon for Eilidh Brown, she very kindly offered to do a combined event giving her time for free."
Anna added: "As new businesses supporting one another through the pandemic, Rachel and I have been wanting to come together for a while and I was delighted to help her fundraise for such an amazing cause.
"After a long time in the planning, we were blown away when the tickets sold out so quickly and it was a fantastic morning of play.
"I loved seeing some of my regular Little City Norfolk visitors, as well as meeting lots of new children and their families.
"I'd like to thank everyone who came along and enjoyed this special morning with us and wish Rachel lots of luck for her marathon and the rest of her fundraising endeavours."
As well as all the activities, Syncerly Synful Sweet Shop created delicious cakes to be sold on the day for the charity.
Rachel has also organised a raffle with all proceeds going to Eilidh Brown Memorial Fund.
Prizes have been donated by several local businesses including Congham Hall, Pensthorpe, Hunstanton Sealife Centre, Tropic with Annie, Brancaster Beach Kiosk and more.
To buy tickets for the raffle online and for more details of the prizes please visit the Munchkin and Me social media pages on Facebook or Instagram.
“The work of the Eilidh Brown Memorial Fund really touched my heart," Rachel explained. "It is a very small charity, set up and run by one family.
"They have built a beautiful respite holiday home for children with cancer and their families, from all over the UK, to have a precious holiday together in a stunning location in Scotland.
"The house was built in memory of Eilidh who died aged 15 within a year of her cancer diagnosis and the holiday house was her dream. It costs £60,000 per year to enable families to stay in the holiday home free of charge.
"When I started fundraising, I realised doing a charity special through my business would be great fun for the families, as well as a wonderful opportunity to bring our two groups together and really help boost the fundraising.”
Both Rachel and Anna are now taking bookings for their September sessions.
Rachel also offers story-based sensory sessions specifically for babies from birth upward, which is a great way to meet other new parents, as well as her toddlers groups.
For anyone wishing to support Rachel's marathon fundraising efforts, you can visit her Justgiving page to donate, see progress videos and learn more about the charity: justgiving.com/fundraising/rachelanncurtis
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