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St George's Day event in Dagenham raises money for children with disabilities for ninth year

PUBLISHED: 15:44 27 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:02 29 April 2019

Riding the bull: Kylo Ugorji, two. Picture by Ellie Hoskins.

Riding the bull: Kylo Ugorji, two. Picture by Ellie Hoskins.

Ellie Hoskins

Hundreds of people have braved the winds for a belated St George's Day celebration in Dagenham to raise money for a good cause.

Four-year-old Rhianna Satinsaite getting her face painted at the St George's Day celebrations. Picture by Ellie Hoskins.Four-year-old Rhianna Satinsaite getting her face painted at the St George's Day celebrations. Picture by Ellie Hoskins.

The proceeds of the annual event, now in its ninth year, went to Children Today, a charity that helps families with disabled children to buy much-needed equipment to improve their lives.

Farm animals, prop police vehicles (with functioning sirens) and trampolines were among the attractions.

Linda Luby is 63 and lives in Barking. She went to the event with he daughter Jessica, who is 26, and her six-year-old grandson Ellis.

Ellis, a new Eastbury student, loved the police vans.

Ellis Luby, six, behind the wheel of a prop police van. Picture: Luke Acton.Ellis Luby, six, behind the wheel of a prop police van. Picture: Luke Acton.

“He loves the police and that because he lives near the police pound,” Linda said.

“He's in his element. He loves it. It's lovely.”

Jessica, who lives in Chadwell Heath, likes that these kinds of events happen in the borough

She said: “It's really good to get everyone together in the local community.”

Picture by Ellie Hoskins.Picture by Ellie Hoskins.

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“It gives you a sense of belonging.”

N&C Building Materials on Freshwater Road hosted the fun. According to Children Today founder Hugh McCaw, the company has been supporting the charity's work for the past 14 years.

That charity itself is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Mr McCaw estimates it has helped more than 4,000 families in the UK, with at least 50 of those being in Barking and Dagenham.

“I set up Children Today because I believed that every child with a disability shouldn't be disadvantaged because their parents can't afford the equipment,” Mr McCaw said.

“Hopefully this event raises awareness for people that we're there so that, if they have a child in need that they know that they know they can come to us.”

He thinks that over their 14 year partnership, N&C has helped raise around £50,000 for their cause.

David Forbes, CEO of N&C, said: “We hold the event for the local community.

Naqui Haider, three, playing hook-a-duck. Picture by Ellie Hoskins.Naqui Haider, three, playing hook-a-duck. Picture by Ellie Hoskins.

“We do it because we're part of the community and we do it to support families with young children in the area.”

Despite the wind, children were still playing on the trampolines and in the old police vehicles.

Even the dragon was in a positive mood: “I hope the kids have a lot of fun and I hope that they grow up to do wonderful things and become dragons!”

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