A family who were left homeless following a blaze at their flat just days before Christmas has been left overwhelmed by the generosity of the readers of Bournemouth’s Daily Echo.
Kay Gisbourne and her two children, 12-year-old daughter Megan and six-month-old son Toby, managed to escape with their lives after the fire at their Anstey Close home in Kinson on 20th December.
Although the family was saved by the fire alarm, all of their possessions, Christmas presents and birthday gifts for Megan were destroyed. Close friends Shereen and Pete Lewis gave them a bed for the night and launched an appeal for gifts and cash donations for the devastated family.
The Gisbournes have been living at a bed and breakfast in Bournemouth following the fire, which is thought to have started due to a faulty fridge. They are going to move into hostel accommodation while repairs are carried out on their flat.
Shereen said: “The response from Daily Echo readers has been fantastic. Money is tight for everyone, particularly at Christmas, but people have really rallied round to help Kay and her children.
“One man gave Kay a cheque for £200; as well as money donations, vouchers and hundreds of gifts have come pouring in. It has been amazing, with gifts of furniture, pots and pans, clothes and toys. We took presents round to Kay’s father’s home in Boscombe and left them under the tree so they would all have something to open on Christmas Day.”
A generous 91 year old Bournemouth woman who wishes to remain anonymous donated £100 and said: “When I read what had happened I felt so sorry for the little girl and thought I would try and help out.”
A carol singing and special collection at St Andrew’s church in Kinson managed to raise £400 and the British Lions charity donated £250. Bournemouth YMCA have provided much-needed storage facilities at Broadstone leisure centre and another collection at Kinson News gave the family a further £150 voucher.