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West End stars back campaign for blind children

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Actresses Carley Stenson, Zoe Wanamaker, Jodie Prenger, Jemima Rooper and Angela Griffin are backing a campaign to boost nursery provision for young blind children.

The campaign, run by the Royal London Society for Blind People and called the Little Heroes Nursery Appeal, aims to raise £100,000 in 100 days to help blind toddlers and babies.

Stenson, who is currently playing Princess Fiona in the West End run of Shrek the Musical, said: “One of the best things about playing Princess Fiona in Shrek is seeing the happy faces of the children that come into the theatre each day. So it really saddened me to learn from RLSB that 25% of partially sighted under-12s suffer from depression. This shouldn’t be the case - all children should feel positive and happy as they grow up.

“I think it’s fantastic that RLSB works with blind babies to help them overcome the problems that sight loss causes, which can lead to depression later on if not dealt with. I want RLSB to be able to help more blind children, which is why I’m supporting the Little Heroes Appeal.”

RLSB is a charity that works to empower blind and partially sighted young people to live life beyond blindness through education, personal development, arts and sports. The organisation’s Dorton House nursery in Kent was set up 20 years ago. It is one of the only nurseries in the country to cater specifically for blind and partially sighted young children and it has received the highest Ofsted rating of Outstanding at every inspection.

Funds raised through the campaign will help fund places for more blind youngsters at RLSB’s existing nursery, and help the organisation launch additional community based nurseries around London.

Commenting on the campaign, Zoe Wanamaker said: “I passionately believe that all children should be given the opportunity to be the best they can be. RLSB’s nursery does this by working with blind children at a crucial age. It helps them to be happy and independent little people, and gives parents confidence to look forward to a bright future for their child.

“The Little Heroes Nursery Appeal has my support, and I think everyone reading this should get on board too.”

To support the Little Heroes Nursery Appeal text NURSERY to 70007 and donate £3 or log onto //www.littleheroesappeal.com for more information

- Lalayn Baluch


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