A charity which helps families of children with disabilities is urging people to run, walk, swim or cycle in a new fundraising campaign.

Each year the Footsteps Foundation supports 100 children, enabling them to receive life-changing physiotherapy at the Footsteps Centre in Dorchester near Abingdon.

Children achieve mobility milestones through Footsteps therapy – disabled children learn to crawl, sit, stand and even walk and this increases their confidence and independence.

Read again: Historic coaching inn reopens

As with many other small charities, Footsteps Foundation has lost thousands of pounds of income due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

To bridge the funding gap, it has launched A Million Steps for Footsteps – urging supporters to choose their own challenge and raise sponsorship for us at the same time. They can pledge to run, walk, dance, swim, cycle or use a wheelchair at any point in October, and the foundations converts time or distance into steps to add to its total.

Oxford Mail:

Sophie Countess of Wessex visits the Footsteps centre in 2019

Foundation manager Maggie Davies said: “So far, even before launch, the response from our community has been amazing and we have already had 30 pledges, covering 4.8 million steps and raising £13,500 so far. Our funding gap is £60,000, so we have set an ambitious target. Friends of the charity have set themselves ambitious targets too, with supporters running and walking to raise funds.

Read more: Cineworld to close screens in Witney and Didcot

“One of our charity ambassadors James of Gesner Estate Agents Didcot organised a staff team and two members will be walking and running a million steps (760km) between them in October while raising funds.

"James, after visiting the centre, has pledged to support Footsteps regularly and has raised £42,000 for the charity so far.”

Oxford Mail:

Thomas Balmer

The pledges that sum up the good work of the charity are those from children who attend the centre for physiotherapy and were never expected to walk at all.

Read again: Huge backlog of court cases

Seven-year old Thomas Balmer, who has cerebral palsy and attends Footsteps will walk for 33 minutes, cycle for 33 minutes and swim 33 lengths.

Thomas has had spinal surgery last year and is still getting used to walking again.

Ronnie Jacob, 13, also has cerebral palsy and has pledged to walk 5km in stages throughout the month.

And the founder’s daughter Minty Hoyer Millar is the reason that Footsteps exists today to help disabled children.

Oxford Mail:

Minty Hoyer Millar

When she was a toddler and diagnosed with cerebral palsy, doctors told her parents that she would never walk.

After experiencing incredible results with intensive therapy in Poland, Pip and Christian Hoyer Millar set up their own Physiotherapy Centre and Foundation to help other children.

Now 28, Minty still attends Footsteps and she will walk her two dogs 2km every single day in October.

For more visit justgiving.com/campaign/AMillionSteps.