Fundraising campaign flooded with support after money raised for children’s respite centre is stolen

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More than £1,000 has been raised after money collected for a Calderdale respite centre for children with disabilities was stolen.

Last December, Nicky Bray celebrated her 40th birthday with an all-day family friendly gig and party in Leeds.

Inspired by the experience of two close friends, whose young autistic son had benefited from weekly stays at Linden Brook, Savile Park, Nicky pledged to donate all proceeds to its fund for trips and other social activities.

Part of Calderdale Council’s Children’s Residential Service, Linden Brook offers short stays for children and young people aged four to 17 with a learning or physical disability.

Entry to the party was free and open to the public, with people encouraged to make a ‘pay what you feel’ donation and friends asked to donate rather than bring a birthday present.

Around 100 people turned up throughout the event and many gave generously via a donation bucket on the door.

But at the end of the evening, Nicky was devastated to learn that the bucket had been stolen.

Two days after the party, Kerry Ramsay, one of Nicky’s best friends, set up a crowdfunding page explaining what had happened.

She said: “We thought the best way to make amends would be to offer anyone who didn’t have the chance to donate before the bucket disappeared, or was unable to attend the party but would like to make a donation, the opportunity to do so, in the hope that we can still raise some money to go towards helping Linden Brook continue to provide the wonderful service that it does.”

Kerry and Nicky shared the page at midnight that evening and, within minutes, donations and messages of support had started to roll in, reaching £500 by the following evening.

Less than two days later, the total had exceeded £1,000 from 45 donors.

Nicky said: “Thanks to my fantastic friend Kerry and the empathy and generosity of all others who donated, the heartless actions of one individual have been turned into something wonderful, raising far more than we would have collected on the day of the event.”

The crowdfunding page is still open if you would like to make a donation.