A fundraising drive has been launched to help support the parents of a brave little three-year-old who is fighting a deadly form of cancer.

In January, April Leigh Bird’s family were told she had stage four neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer which affects only children.

The toddler is going through intensive chemotherapy at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and her parents Craig and Cherise, who are from Basildon, are having to split their time between staying with April and looking after their two older boys.

Staff at the Locomotive pub, in Butler Road, Halstead, are hosting a series of fundraising events to raise money for the family to enjoy some quality time together.

Maureen Wenn, who works at the pub and is also April’s great-grandmother, said: “It is not nice because she is so little and she is such a happy child.

“She is always smiling and jolly but then when the chemo gets to her it changes her.

“We do not know whether it is going to work. Her mum has been told if this does not work there is nothing they can do. The family are struggling.”

The Locomotive has already held a 12-hour dartathon in April’s honour and soon to follow is a clothes swap event and a family fun day.

Mrs Wenn said: “Everybody in the pub has been really good to us so far and put money into the pot.

“We want to thank them for all their help and hope they continue to support us.”

Donate at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/chantelle-wenn or visit https://bit.ly/2KOLKGK.