A seven-year-old girl from North Wootton is taking on a running challenge to raise money for a charity which helped her younger brother.
Belle Ringwood will be lacing up her running shoes for the Mini Gear fun run next month to fundraise for the second year in a row.
Belle, a pupil at North Wootton Academy, hopes to raise at least £100 for Little Discoverers, based in Lynn, which has helped Teddy, five, who has atypical diplegic cerebral palsy.
Her mum Sarah Ringwood said: “When Teddy was a baby, I noticed he wasn’t reaching his milestones and became concerned.
“I followed the usual route of GPs, referrals, consultants, tests and more tests. This was a very isolating time and none of my friends could really relate to what myself and my family were going through.”
Mrs Ringwood said it was at this point that she found the Little Discoverers group and instantly felt like she had a support network.
While a part of the group, she learnt skills to communicate with Teddy, including teaching them both Makaton signing and helped him gain more of an independence.
Teddy went to Little Discoverers for two years before he started mainstream school, after which Mrs Ringwood applied for a job there.
She said: “I just hope I can help and support families the same way I was.”
“Little Discoverers hold special days in the school holidays where past families are invited back and in a way they give guidance to those who are struggling to come to terms with a diagnosis, as well as an insight as to what to expect or just a friendly face,” she added.
This has also been beneficial to Belle who has found support from children in a similar position to her.
Mrs Ringwood said: “Belle is now seven and is beginning to understand about disability – she knows that her brother is disabled.
“She understands that Teddy’s legs are not as fast or strong as everyone else’s and that he needs extra help with various things.
“She has said that she just wants to help other children like her brother.”
Last year, Belle and her mum took on the Mini Gear 1.2 mile fun run in Lynn for the first time to give back to the charity.
As it is this time around, Belle’s target was £100, but her efforts saw her exceed it six times over, raising an impressive £600 for the cause.
Mrs Ringwood said: “This year she set a target of £100 again but secretly she would like to beat last year’s total.
“As parents this makes us so proud that she wants to help people and is able to do something for others.”
“We hope that Teddy will be able to race with us next year, when he is six and old enough to register. We plan to complete the Mini Gear as a family,” she added.
To sponsor Belle, please go to www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/sarahringwood2.