A FRAUD victim who was cheated out of £56,000 by a friend has been overwhelmed after former colleagues have rallied to his support.
Multiple sclerosis sufferer Michael Charter was devastated when Karen Reeves emptied his bank accounts.
Reeves, a committee member of the Gosport MS Society, admitted fraud but avoided jail last year.
Now Michael’s former care home colleagues have signed up to take him out as often as possible, kick-started with a powerboat trip in Portsmouth.
His father Eric Carter, 83, has praised the staff.
‘It’s brilliant – they must have thought something of him to be doing this for him,’ he said.
‘I find it very sad he is very much disabled.
‘There’s no cure for MS and that is what life has dished up for Michael.
‘I greatly appreciate what his ex-colleagues are doing and have done for him.’
As reported, Michael met Reeves, 57, in the Fareham and Gosport branch of the MS Society, where she was on the committee and in charge of fundraising.
She used the cash from his accounts on day-to-day expenditures, gambling debts, her husband’s van and holidays.
Mac McHugh, managing director at FairWays, which runs homes across the south, said: ‘Hopefully this is going to be the first of many days that we’ll take him out.
‘We’ve got 20 staff that have volunteered their time.
‘There will be two people each time just to get him out the house.
‘‘One of the things for me was he is such a nice guy and having money stolen from someone close to him dented his faith in humanity.
‘What we wanted to do was show him a lot of people think highly of him.
‘By people giving up their own time, weekends and taking him out show him people are decent.’
Mac, Eric and Michael all went out on an adapted powerboat on February 11, with Michael taking the helm for 30 minutes out on the Solent after they left Gunwharf Quays.
Reeves, of Northmore Road, Locks Heath, received a suspended sentence.