‘I feel like I have so many friends although I haven’t met them all’

Aston Muff (6) outside his home in Harleston Road Wymering Portsmouth
Aston Muff (6) outside his home in Harleston Road Wymering Portsmouth
Former Great British Bake Off contestant Enwezor Nzegwu pictured at last year's cooking show.

Picture: Sarah Standing (161630-8733) PPP-160912-203331001

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GRATEFUL Aston Muff has said a huge ‘thank you’ to readers of The News who donated cash after his walking frame was stolen by scrap metal thieves.

The disabled six-year-old said he was devastated when his walker was snatched from outside his home in Harleston Road, Wymering,

But he says he is ‘really happy’ today after support from readers who felt compelled to act after reading about the crime.

Aston, who suffers from cerebral palsy, said: ‘Thank you so much for buying me a new walking frame, thank you for helping me.

‘I remember the day my walking frame was stolen and it made me very sad. I was so upset I cried a lot because I’ve had it since I was three years old and I use it every day.

‘The walking frame is so important to me because it helps me move around on my own.

‘I like to be independent and do things for myself, I don’t want other people to carry me around.’

He added: ‘I feel like I have so many friends now even though I haven’t met them all.

‘I promise I will take good care of my new walking frame. I would like it to be red just like my old one, and I won’t let anyone take it away from me.’

Aston’s mum Susan said she has been overwhelmed by the pledges and donations to buy a replacement walking frame.

At the last count, the amount came to £1,420 – and Mrs Muff has asked for the surplus money to be split between the Child Development Centre (CDC) in Milton and disabled charity Enable Ability, in Copnor, which Aston uses.

She said: ‘It really is amazing that so many people out there have such kind hearts. After the theft we were in a very dark place, but this has restored our faith in the goodness of people.

‘Aston was very low when his walking frame was stolen but now he is really positive and upbeat.’

Jo Johnson, an occupational therapist at the CDC, said she was touched by Mrs Muff’s gesture and by the positive reaction from so many of our readers.

She said: ‘What happened to Aston was terrible and we are all amazed by the generosity of the public and the fact that at a time when nobody has any money in their pockets, people are still coming forward.

‘We are here providing a service we believe people deserve, but it’s lovely when someone turns around and says they would like to give something back.’

Donations have been receieved from Nick Parker, Dave and Linda Browning, Margaret Christie, Graham Ottley, Paul Coleman, Ali Stevenson, Jane Kent, Syd Carter, Andy Thomson, John Kinneavy, Pat and John Goodridge, Stephen Carrington, and eight anonymous donors.