School for disabled youngsters boosted by £1,000 donation from cabbie

Bournemouth Echo: DONATION: Staff from Little India in Bournemouth have raised over £1,000 for Diverse Abilities Plus DONATION: Staff from Little India in Bournemouth have raised over £1,000 for Diverse Abilities Plus

A SCHOOL for disabled youngsters has received a donation of over £1,000 after a fundraiser organised by a kind-hearted cabbie.

Terry Ali, from Southbourne, had just finished organising a collection of clothes and other items to be shipped out to the Philippines when he read in the Echo about a break-in at Poole’s Langside School in December.

Thieves stole expensive tools and equipment including ladders, drills, a leaf-blowing machine and a petrol-powered jetwash, from the garage of the Langside Avenue school, run by Dorset disability Diverse Abilities Plus.

It was the second time the school was targeted at Christmas.

In 2012 the catalytic converter was stolen from a wheelchair-adapted minibus, meaning some pupils missed out on a trip to see Father Christmas, until local businesses rallied round to help.

Terry, who works as a taxi driver, organised a charity buffet night at Little India restaurant in Old Christchurch Road, helped by his friend Sorwar Ahmed, who owns the eatery.

Customers paid £10 a head and there was also a charity raffle.

Terry said: “I was sitting in Little India with a friend of mine flicking through the paper when I saw Langside had been raided for the second time and I wanted to do something for them.

“I said to him: ‘Shall we do a buffet night here at the restaurant?’ We organised it in about four weeks. I went round to speak to people to get what I could for the raffle and we raised £1,050.”

Terry is now hoping to organise a fundraiser for Linwood School and an international aid appeal for Syria.

He added: “Now I’ve started doing things, you get a sense of achievement – it feels good.”

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