Southsea boy Ben Jackson delighted at big birthday bash after mum's plea went viral
Schoolboy Ben Jackson has celebrated his birthday in style after his mum's plea to join in the youngster's celebration went viral.
Young Ben, 11, was disheartened last year when his mum Lisa Jackson said almost no-one turned up for his party.
But after her online appeal, the Southsea youngster and his mum have been left overjoyed by this year's birthday bash.
The people of Portsmouth came together at Canoe Lake, Southsea, today – and Ben has already been inundated with more than 10,000 cards in the post.
A large bouncy castle and giant inflatable slide were set up for all of the children to enjoy and some guests attended the party in Star Wars costumes to pose for photos with Ben and his pals.
Balloons hung from surrounding trees and families laid out picnic blankets and ate party food in the sunshine.
Ben said: ‘I’ve had lots of fun!
'Thank you to everyone who helped and wished me a happy birthday.’
Ben, of Southsea, has a form of autism and his mum Lisa said her son was left heartbroken when only a handful of people turned up to his birthday party last year.
This spurred Lisa to start a Facebook page for this year’s bash, inviting families to join in for the big day.
Lisa said she was surprised to see such a huge response from the public as they turned up in their droves to show their support.
'It has been a fantastic day for Ben and I’m ever so grateful for the support we’ve been given,' she said.
'A woman gifted us a beautiful birthday cake that she had made especially for Ben covered in sweets and chocolate and we’ve received nearly 10,000 cards.’
As well as cards, the family were inundated with well wishes and boxes of balloons.
The celebrations have continued into the evening as police paid Ben a visit to help celebrate.