Community rallies round for Elsie-rose

Elsie-rose Nugent
Elsie-rose Nugent

The family of a baby girl with a life-limiting condition has been overwhelmed by acts of kindness and generosity from the community.

Since the

Elsie-rose, who is one, was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) Type 1 and her family launched an appeal and campaign to raise awareness of the condition, which affects one in 6,000 babies.

They are desperate to raise thousands of pounds to ensure Elsie-rose has the best life possible in the time she has.

Elsie-rose’s 25-year-old mum, Natasha, of The Ridge, said: “More than £3,300 has been raised so far by people as a result of the

“It’s been amazing and overwhelming and you do not realise how much community spirit there is until something like this happens.

“I would like to thank everyone who has helped us. I have sent out so many thank-you cards. We do not know what else to do to show how grateful we are.”

Natasha said a fun day at Tilebarn Community Centre in St Leonards on November 30 collected more than £1,300 in total.

Tate Fencing also organised a charity football match recently, raising around £556 in the process. Skinners Sheds has also donated £500.

Natasha added: “Bustles and Bows in Queen’s Road sold my wedding dress as I wanted to help donate. This raised £600. The shop made a magnificent window display to help promote this and raise awareness of SMA Type 1. From the great response we had from selling my dress people then donated dresses, raising money for Elsie-rose.

“Helen Thomas, from Tilekiln Community Centre, raised £280 by running a charity race night.”

Elsie-rose’s father, James, who is a lance corporal with the Royal Engineers and based at Maidstone barracks, is running the Hastings Half Marathon in March with his regiment in aid of his daughter. They will each be carrying 50lb worth of Army equipment throughout the race.

Natasha said: “There are lots of other fundraising events in the pipeline as well, such as an upcoming fashion show, football matches and silent auctions.”

Elsie-rose was diagnosed with SMA Type 1 by Conquest doctors after she and her family were involved in a car crash in Lower Park Road on August 13. Doctors were concerned over Elsie-roses’s poor mobility and that she had not reached any of the milestones, such as being able to roll. Blood tests were carried out and her family were told the devastating news on September 26.

Natasha said: “I was heartbroken when we were told the news, as children born with this condition do not normally live beyond 12 months of age.

“Elsie-roses’s three-year-old sister, Evie-rose is very close to her.” Follow Elsie-rose’s journey at