MORE than 50 employees from the Office for National Statistics in Newport took part in a fun run to raise funds for an operation that could help a four-year-old girl walk independently for the first time.

Money raised from the annual ONS fun run will go towards the Footsteps for Liv campaign, which aims to enable little Olivia Robinson to have a selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) operation.

Olivia, the daughter of ONS employees Daniel and Beth Robinson, was born prematurely - at 29 weeks - and was diagnosed with petri-ventricular leukomalacia, a condition causing cysts in the parts of her brain which control movement.

The cysts have disappeared with time but Olivia has been left with cerebral palsy which has preventing her from reaching basic milestones such as sitting, crawling and walking.

The NHS in Wales has yet to fund SDR, and the aim for Olivia is to raise money for surgery at Bristol's Frenchay Hospital, and intensive aftercare, costing £40,000, or if necessary a trip to the USA, to the Missouri hospital where recent SDR techniques have been pioneered, will be considered, though this would cost around £60,000.

The fun run is organised by the ONS Sports and Social Association (ONSSSA) with money raised going to a different local charity each year. ONSSSA’s fundraising efforts have over the years raised thousands of pounds.

This year’s event took place over one mile or three mile courses, from Tredegar Park to the Whiteheads Sports and Social Club.

Olivia was guest of honour on the day, which also included a disco and a football match between teams from the ONS and the neighbouring Intellectual Property Office.

To donate directly to Footsteps for Liv, visit