Mini heroes on charity walk

(L-r) Maya Soares, Olivia Edwards (both four) and Blake Robertson, three
(L-r) Maya Soares, Olivia Edwards (both four) and Blake Robertson, three
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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Children transformed into their superhero alter-egos as they set out on a sponsored walk through Milton, Portsmouth to raise money for the Barnardo’s children’s charity.

Mini versions of Batman, Spiderman, Superman and Catwoman walked half-a-mile from their earthly Jack and Jill pre-school home to St James’ Park in support of Barnardo’s Big Toddle.

Despite torrential rain, all 14 three to five-year-olds lived up to their larger-than-life transformations and raised an impressive £300.

Olivia Edwards, four, donned her Catgirl outfit to get £48 in sponsorship.

She says: ‘I was dressed in black and I had a tail which was exciting.

‘It was raining, but I was happy because I was with my friends and we were doing it for children who don’t have any toys.

‘We were all jumping in the puddles – we had lots of fun.

‘It’s the first time I’ve done a sponsored walk and I’d love to do it again and raise even more money for charity.’

Blake Robertson, three, who dressed as Superman for the day and raised £40, adds: ‘It was a long walk and it was raining but I had a good time.

‘I was jumping in the puddles and laughing a lot, and I was with all my friends.

‘My family gave me money for the walk and I am very happy it is going to other children who need it.’

Jack and Jill is run by a committee of parents and its vice-chair Penny Williams organised the toddle to help Barnardo’s work with disadvantaged and vulnerable under-fives throughout the UK.

All the money raised by the pre-school children will help the charity buy bereavement therapy sessions for four children who are coping with the loss of either a parent or sibling.

Miss Williams, who accompanied her daughter Charlotte Barnes, four (Supergirl) says: ‘It was very wet but the children’s spirits were not dampened by it!

‘They all turned up with smiles on their faces, in their costumes and wellies, and had a great time.

‘For most of them it was their first sponsored event, and they were very excited about it.

‘It was lovely to see how involved they were – they had a good understanding about the charity and where their money was going.

‘I’m so impressed and proud of all of the children.’