Ben Foden and Lee Dickson help launch Niamh charity

The launch of the Niamh's Next Step charity. Trustees of Niamh's Next Step including Northampton Saints rugby player Ben Foden with daughter Aoife Foden (nine months) Chris Curry, Sam Curry and daughter Hannah Curry, eight, Northampton Saints rugby player Lee Dickson and son Oscar Dickson (one)
The launch of the Niamh's Next Step charity. Trustees of Niamh's Next Step including Northampton Saints rugby player Ben Foden with daughter Aoife Foden (nine months) Chris Curry, Sam Curry and daughter Hannah Curry, eight, Northampton Saints rugby player Lee Dickson and son Oscar Dickson (one)
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Rugby players Ben Foden and Lee Dickson have backed a new charity named after a little girl from Wellingborough by attending its launch party.

Niamh’s Next Step was officially granted charitable status recently. The appeal was set up by the parents of five-year-old Niamh Curry to fund her treatment for the rare childhood cancer neuroblastoma.

Niamh sadly passed away last year before the money could be used for her treatment and the £370,000 raised was donated to the Neurblastoma Alliance.

Chris and Sam Curry have vowed carry on with the charity, to fight the illness in Niamh’s name.

An official charity launch party was held at Beckwork Emporium on Sunday, January 6, to coincide with what would have been Niamh’s sixth birthday on January 5.

More than 170 tickets sold out within two hours of going on sale, and £1,275 was raised at the event.

The Northampton Saints and England rugby players are patrons of the charity. Foden also showed his support, along with his pop star wife, Una Healy, by raising cash for the charity on Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Mr Foden said: “It’s brilliant to raise awareness of the charity. It’s a local charity for me and it’s a cause which is close to my heart because it reaches out to people who are new parents.”

Mr Dickson added: “We have both become parents and we think this is such a brilliant cause. I have always wanted to get involved with a charity for children. It’s a small charity so hopefully we can help it grow.”

Mr Curry said he was delighted to have the support from everyone who attended the party.

He said: “It’s a massive mark of respect for Niamh and it’s fantastic support for the charity. And what Ben and Una did for us on Who Wants to be a Millionaire was fantastic publicity to have.

“The charity is going to raise awareness of neuroblastoma. We are already in talks with some consultants who are looking at starting a research trial at Birmingham hospital. We are in talks to fund some of that because research is what is needed.”

For further details visit www.niamhsnextstep.com.