Villagers rolled back the years and danced the night away to raise cash for charities supporting a young tot who is battling two life-limiting illnesses.

More than 400 people turned out to the Back to the 80’s party at Silver End Village Hall to show their support for Tara Watkin, 44, and her one-year-old son, Asher.

Asher, whose dad is the Rev Paul Watkin, was diagnosed with life-limiting diseases Cat’s Eye syndrome and MEN2B just weeks after he was born.

The tot has since had his thyroid removed after developing cancer and has to be fed through a tube.

With doctors unsure how long the youngster will live, his family organised the 80s party to help celebrate his life while raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital, Wipe Away Those Tears and the Rainbow Trust.

The event, which was run with the help of Witham Roundtable and featured special guest Nik Kershaw, saw live 80s music performed by cover-band the Heaters Party and the Silver End Ladies Community Choir.

There was also entertainment on offer for youngsters in the form of the magician, Magic Frostie.

Organiser Mrs Watkin said: “I’m really proud of what we achieved at Back To The 80s, not only in terms of raising awareness and funds for the three charities, but I’m also immensely proud of how much support was shown to us from both inside and outside the village.

“There was a real community spirit throughout the whole event and it was amazing to see so many happy smiling faces.

“Many people have said they’d love it to happen again next year so watch this space...the 80s might come back once more next year.”

Money raised on the night, which is thought to be several thousand pounds, will be combined with a fundraiser run by Elm Hall Primary School in Witham before being dished out to the relevant charities.

For Mrs Watkin, the night was also about creating special memories with young Asher, who she has previously described as “happy” and a “real warrior”.

She added: “It was very emotional. I cried several times particularly when my husband publicly presented me with a surprise trophy for everything I’d done in making Back To The 80s happen.

“I think many people who came know about our journey with Asher and were there to celebrate his life along with us.

“I’m quite open about our lives and what we face every day, so to have so many people I care about all in one place was really special and unforgettable.

“Asher was the focus for us all.”