Gifts and cards flood in to give Ben a birthday to remember

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WHEN no-one showed up to Lisa Jackson’s son Ben’s birthday party he was heartbroken.

So his mum decided to make his 11th birthday a day to remember,

In a poignant post on Facebook she explained what happened before.

And it went viral. Hundreds of pounds have been donated and Ben, who has a form of autism, got two giant sacks of mail in the post today from well-wishers.

Family friend Victoria Lackenby set up a crowdfunding page to raise money to buy Ben a new Ipad.

She said: ‘I set up the page because it really touched my heart. I thought it would be great to get him an Ipad if that makes him feel calm.

‘Donations just started flowing in and now we are over £600.

‘It was unbelievable the response it has got, it has gone viral. When we reached our target I cried and hopefully this will teach them that people will look past his condition and raise awareness of autism.

Victoria added: ‘It has also let other people share their stories of their own children who have autism.’

In the original Facebook post, Lisa wrote: ‘He has a heart of gold and just wants to be friends with people but his autism makes it extremely difficult for him to achieve this.

‘He is the child that never gets invited to other children’s birthday parties, that sits alone in the playground, that doesn’t have anybody round for tea and nobody to go out to play with.

‘On a previous birthday I hosted a birthday party for him, inviting around 25 children. He was so excited and really looking forward to it.

‘Only two parents replied to the invitations I sent out but the party was arranged and paid for and Ben was excited about it so there was no way I could cancel it, I wrongly presumed that a few more would just turn up on the day but at least two were coming which was better than none at all.

‘Everything was set up and Ben sat there eagerly waiting for everyone to turn up, 2pm came and went and nobody had arrived.

Ben sat there saying repeating over and over they will come in a minute won’t they mum. He still thought they would show up to help celebrate his special day.

‘By 2.30pm he was getting more and more anxious and visibly upset, he kept asking me where everybody was. I just didn’t know what to say to him.

‘It was the most heartbreaking moment ever not only for me but for him to. This day had a lasting effect on him for a very long time, he was devastated, it knocked his self confidence, heightened his anxiety and is something he will always remember.

This year Lisa decided to post her story on social media and asked for people from far and wide to send birthday cards to make her little boy smile again.

She added: This year I want him to have a birthday to remember and hopefully undo the damage of the previous birthdays which has had a lasting effect on him.’

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