A ‘TODDLE Waddle’ Family Fun Day proved a great success, raising thousands for charity.

The event was organised by Dorchester mum Naomi Hillier, 31, who wanted to raise awareness of and money for Meningitis Now, the charity that supported her family after her son contracted Pneumococcal Meningitis as a baby.

Her son George Patterson is wheelchair-bound, deaf in his left ear and suffers brain damage, cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

George suffers from a rare strain and Naomi said she didn’t believe his initial symptoms were serious when he fell ill just before his first birthday.

Entertainment on the day consisted of a coconut shy, ‘beat the goalie’, face painting, bouncy castle, craft stall, zumba demonstrations and a live band.

Infants up to five years donned their duckling outfits to participate in a sponsored one mile walk across The Great Field in Poundbury.

The silent auction, raffle, tombola and refreshments raised £3,028, which was partly due to the fantastic donations from celebrities and local businesses.

Somerset County Cricket Club match tickets, a £100 Brittany Ferries voucher, signed framed pictures of Ian Botham, David Hayes and Roberto Soldado, and entry to the local atttraction Sculptures by the Lakes were just some of the items won by bidders.

The fundraiser succeeded in raising awareness and parents left with a symptoms card, which Naomi said was important as the disease can kill within hours and early detection can be lifesaving.

On the event’s Facebook page Naomi said: “Thank you to everyone who helped with the event on Saturday and in the lead up. Leah from Meningitis Now has contacted me to say there has been a significant increase in calls from families in Dorset about their experience of Meningitis and they are now providing extra counselling services.

"We have put Meningitis Now on the map in the Dorset area and I can’t thank everyone enough.”