Three-year-old Kiera is in the running to help Rainbow Centre

READY TO RUN Kiera Morgan, right, with her cousin Darcie Hooper.   Picture: Ian Hargreaves (113672-4)
READY TO RUN Kiera Morgan, right, with her cousin Darcie Hooper. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (113672-4)
Alex Wardle, from Lee-on-the-Solent, collapsed at home and tragically died in March 2016, aged 23. 

From left: Alex's father, Stephen Wardle, sister Gemma Wardle, Alex Wardle and his mother, Denise Wardle.

Gosport family to keep Alex’s legacy alive by taking part in Great South Run

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WHEN her mum signed up for the Great South Run little Kiera Morgan decided she wanted to have a go as well.

Now at just three years old, she will be taking part in the mile-long Mini Great South Run to help the charity that helps her cousin.

Mum Lynne Morgan, 32, picked the Rainbow Centre in Fareham to support as her niece Darcie Hooper has been going there for more than six years. The centre looks after youngsters with cerebral palsy and other motor skills problems.

Lynne, of Dore Avenue in Portchester, said: ‘I just wanted to do something in a small way to help the centre, and I wanted to do it as a personal challenge for myself.

‘I’ve never done anything like this before or run any kind of distance.

‘Whenever I went out running Kiera wanted to come with me, so I asked her if she wanted to do a little run as well.’

Kiera said: ‘I want to help Darcie and her friends. I’m going to run really fast.’

Her mum added: ‘She never stops, she’s got loads of energy. We walk to school and back every day and she’s always so active.

‘I’ve been doing quite a bit of training, and it’s going well. I don’t know if I’ll want to do it again after I’ve finished, but never say never.’

Janet Hooper, from Fareham, said: ‘I think it’s fantastic what both of them are doing – they’re superstars.

‘Darcie’s eight now and she’s been coming to the centre since she was 18 months old. When we started she couldn’t walk independently, she couldn’t even sit on her own.

‘She hasn’t got a lot of verbal communication, but she has got a brilliant sense of humour and she has her own ways of letting us know what she wants.

‘Doctors told us she would never do this or do that, but she’s made a lot of improvements, and she’s still making improvements, thanks to the Rainbow Centre.’

Kiera’s pre-school, based at Red Barn Primary School, is also backing the youngster.

To sponsor Lynne or Kiera go to justgiving.com/teams/rainbow

You can also support them by texting KLLM99 or GSR50 followed by the pound sign and the amount you want to give, to 70070.

Centre has a new hero thanks to TV quiz

THE Rainbow Centre is thousands of pounds better off after a supporter’s appearance on a prime-time TV quiz show.

Kay Gudgeon, from Cosham, Portsmouth, chose the charity for the support it has given her daughter Lucy.

And although Kay didn’t emerge as the winner on ITV’s Holding out for a Hero she still raised £3,000. She said: ‘Appearing on national TV was a bit overwhelming to begin with and I was very nervous going into the studios. But I’m so glad I did it, it was a great experience and something I can tick off my list of things I’ve done.’

Ten-year-old Lucy suffers from global development delay and epilepsy.

‘They have also taught me so much,’ Kay added. ‘For a lot of parents, including me, when your child is diagnosed with a serious illness or disability, you feel quite isolated.

‘However when I found The Rainbow Centre, it opened up a new world.’

Centre co-founder Helen Somerset How also appeared on the programme and said: ‘It has been a wonderful experience and we were overwhelmed to receive the £3,000.’