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Saturday, 22 November 2014

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Kind businessman steps in to replace Carlisle family’s festive savings

A stranger's kindness has rescued Christmas for a Carlisle family who were left devastated after the disappearance of hundreds of pounds that they handed over for an festive savings scheme.

Tom Watson photo
Tom Watson has given £400 to Alex Storey and her family

Mum-of-six Alex Storey, 25, was heartbroken when she heard that the money – given to a woman she believed was working for the Christmas voucher firm Park – had never reached the company. A police investigation has been launched.

But after reading about her story in the News & Star, Tom Watson, the boss of the Gretna based firm A-Z Roofing, has stepped in with a generous £400 donation to ensure that the Storey’s get the Christmas they had planned.

Alex, of Warwick Road, had told how she faced telling her older children – Callum, nine, Lewis, eight, and Calvin, six – of the lean Christmas ahead. She and her husband Michael, who works as an assistant cook, are also parents to Layton, three, two-year-old Haydon, and Sophie, just six months old.

But thanks to the generosity of Mr Watson, the family have all now got happy smiles back on their faces.

Alex said: “I’m absolutely thrilled by this amazing act of kindness.

“It’s such a wonderful thing for this man to have done. It will really put the smiles back on the children’s’ faces and it means that we can now get them all the things we promised.

“It’s such a relief.

“Before this, our older children had been trying to make sense of what had happened and Callum was asking whether we’d be able to still have a Christmas dinner. A lot of the people we know have been very supportive but they weren’t themselves in a position to do anything.

“What Mr Watson has done makes all the difference to us.

“It’s unbelievable.”

Mr Watson, 51, whose firm is based at Surrone Road in Gretna, said: “I’m a dad myself and I know what Christmas means to children. We just wanted to do something that would uplift these children’s hearts at Christmas. It would have been a great shame if they didn’t get the toys they were expecting.”

Earlier this week, Alex had explained how from February she was handing over a weekly payment of £20 to a woman who claimed to work for the Park Christmas savings firm. When her Park vouchers didn’t arrive, she contacted the firm and was told they had never heard of the woman.

A spokeswoman for Park confirmed that the firm had never heard of the agent who Mrs Storey said took her weekly £20 payments.

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