AN ‘AMAZING little Newport girl’ is running 5k to support a charity in crisis.

Sparkle, a children’s charity in Gwent which supports children and young people with complex needs, is facing a severe financial crisis.

This is forcing the charity, that helps hundreds of children across Gwent per year, to make the difficult decision to review its vital services.

South Wales Argus: Sparkle helps hundreds of children across Gwent per yearSparkle helps hundreds of children across Gwent per year (Image: Sparkle)

Charity founder and trustee Sabine Maguire says: “I’ve been with this charity for 25 years and we have had difficulties, but we have never been in a crisis like this before.

“We need to bring in £750,000 a year to stand still - we literally brought in half of that last year.”

Harper, seven, has set herself the challenge to run 5 kilometres to raise money for the charity that supports her younger sister Olivia, six.

Olivia has been attending the Serennu centre and Sparkle leisure services for the past two years and has been supported by Sparkle for the past year.

South Wales Argus: Sisters Harper and OliviaSisters Harper and Olivia (Image: Sparkle)

In particular, Olivia enjoys visiting the purpose-built cinema, the fully accessible play area, and she participates in holiday clubs and family fun days held throughout the year.

Tamara Christie, Mum to Harper and Olivia, said her daughter has ‘never been happier than she is when she goes there.’

Ms Christie said: “We started bringing Livi’s sister Harper to the family activities because she wanted to understand where her sister was going and what was helping her, and she realised that there are a lot of children who don’t have the same advantages as her to access the facilities that she is able to.

“She realised it was a special place, and she could see how happy Sparkle made Olivia. We were driving home from school one day and she told me ‘I want to work for Sparkle when I’m older.’

“Sparkle has not just benefitted Olivia, but us as a family. It’s a place of safety for us where we can go and feel comfortable knowing that Livi can be herself and be accepted into the community she’s never been happier than she is when she goes there.”

South Wales Argus: Harper,7, and Olivia 6Harper,7, and Olivia 6 (Image: Sparkle)

“We’re unbelievably proud of Harper, and the fact that she’s thought of this all herself.

“She’s an amazing little girl, and we’re behind her 100% of the way.

“We couldn’t think of a better charity for her to support. Livi is unbelievably proud of Harper too - she thinks her sister is a celebrity.”

A JustGiving page has been sent up for Harper’s fundraiser for Sparkle.

On her JustGiving page, Harper said:

“Without it, my younger sister Olivia would not have the support that she has had over the years, and I want to give back to Sparkle by doing a sponsored run.”

You can view the JustGiving page here.