Thanet childminders and little ones complete sponsored walk in aid of Oliver Steeper Foundation

Childminders and children have completed a sponsored walk for charity

Adults and children from the Thanet childminders’ collaboration have completed a sponsored walk in aid of the Oliver Steeper Foundation.

Eleven childminders, each accompanied with between three and five little ones, completed a circuit from Palm Bay Café, along Princes Walk path to Botany Bay and then, after a short break, headed back to the café.

The group raised more than £1,000 for the chosen charity.

Westbrook childminder and collaboration leader Joanne Zannetti said: “The children did amazingly.”

Joanne says the Foundation was chosen as the recipient after she attended an eat safe campaign course.

The course, run by the Foundation, aims to raise awareness of the hazards of choking in children. It was set up by Lewis and Zoe Steeper after the death of their nine month old son Oliver who tragically died after he choked on a meal of chopped pasta Bolognaise fed to him by staff at his nursery.

His parents now, through the foundation, provide LifeVac devices to Ofsted-registered nurseries, pre-schools and childminders in Kent.

The non-invasive suction device, which costs between £65-£85, can help clear airways for people at risk of choking.

Joanne said: “The Steeper family had lost Oliver to a choking incident at a nursery in Ashford in 2021. The course gave us links to the foundation and how to receive a free Life Vac for all early years settings.

“As the lead of the Thanet childminders’ collaboration I sent the link to all members to receive a free life vac and sign posted my members to the eat safe campaign. As the life vacs are quite expensive I was conscious of using up so much of their funding as we have 30 members on the collaboration.

“We decided to do a fundraiser to give back funds, so the foundation could help many more early years setting and schools in Kent.”

Find the Thanet Childminders’ fundraising page here

Find the Oliver Steeper Foundation online here