Children from National Autistic Society enjoy festive treat

Basingstoke Gazette: Disadvantaged children let down by organiser of roller disco are treated to Christmas party Disadvantaged children let down by organiser of roller disco are treated to Christmas party

FATHER Christmas and some generous business people cheered up disadvantaged children who had been let down by the organiser of a roller disco.

A total of 19 children from the National Autistic Society branch enjoyed the Christmas party at The Tea Bar, in the Top of The Town, Basingstoke.

They played party games, including pass-the-parcel, ate from a Christmas buffet, and went home with goody bags, which included voucher for Toys R Us.

Staff at the bar stepped in after reading in The Gazette how the charity was let down by the organiser of a roller disco for the children.

The charity was left £145 out of pocket after Marcus Leon promised to put on a roller disco for up to 100 children but never did.

Mr Leon, from Brighton Hill, Basingstoke, has previously declined to comment to The Gazette about the incident, but as of last Friday, the money has still not been refunded to the group.

Gemma Parker, deputy branch officer of the autistic society, said she had been overwhelmed by the generosity of The Tea Bar and other local businesses that contributed to the party.

The 29-year-old said a man called Ben Sawyer donated £290 to the charity after reading about its plight.

She said: “It was amazing. We had so many donations from local businesses. It was very sad with what happened but The Tea Bar and local businesses made up for it and the kids had a brilliant time.”

The Tea Bar owner Hayden Gowan said: “It was a spur-of-the-moment decision after reading the story, and we thought we could do something about it. The children had a great time and it was a really nice, feelgood afternoon.”

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