LOUISE Fisher, a 13-year-old with cerebral palsy who had her savings stolen last month, has had her holiday saved in the nick of time.
In December her house was broken into and money she had been squirreling away to fund a skiing trip with the Pathfinders charity was taken.
No arrests have yet been made in relation to the burglary, but a fundraising event organised on Sunday by Louise’s dad, Neil, brought in the exact amount the charity needed to secure the trip just a week before they were due to leave.
Jean Clifford, chairwoman of Pathfinders, was amazed Neil had raised £2,000 in a single day.
“This has just pushed us over our target in the nick of time,” she said. “We had a few sleepless nights thinking we might not have made it.
“But once we put our minds to something we do it.
“I could not believe it when they rang me up and said they had raised £2,000 in just one night.
“It is absolutely brilliant.
“Neil had seen a message from us saying we needed an extra £2,000, and he came in with the exact amount.
“People are so generous in Swindon, and it never ceases to amaze me. They dig and dig and they are absolutely fantastic.
“Without the help of local people and businesses, some of these children would be sitting looking out on life instead of living it to the full.
“Special children have special parents in my experience.”
The event was held at a poker club at Supermarine Sports and Social Club.
Dwayne Quinn, manager of the club, said: “After the burglary we thought it would be a good idea to raise money for the whole group.
“Really it did not take a lot of effort to persuade people to get involved.
“Everyone was really helpful. We had 70 members turn up for the tournament. £5 per player went straight to the charity, and those who won money donated some of their winnings.
“£2,000 was more than we could ever imagine. It is fantastic, especially as some people do not have much spare cash at the moment.”
Neil added: “This was not just for my daughter, it was about supporting a lot of other children as well.
“This will give us more time with our other daughter as well, which we don’t often get to have.
“We took Louise up on the night and she absolutely loved it.
“It was something a little bit different for her and she loves all that.
“She didn’t want to come home, but we had to drag her away because she had school the next morning.
“We put on a big raffle and had 33 prizes up for grabs which had been donated by a lot of businesses, including Swindon Town and the Wyvern. You name it and they wanted to help.
“Someone even offered up a week in a villa in Crete, which sold for £440.
“This has just pushed us over that line, so we are really happy with how it has gone.”