A kindhearted stranger who raised thousands of pounds for a disabled attack victim has had her efforts recognised.
Katie Cutler has been awarded the British Empire Medal for launching a fundraising page which generated more than £330,000 for Alan Barnes who has sight and growth problems. Mr Barnes, 67, was knocked over by would-be robber Richard Gatiss as he moved his wheelie bin outside his home in Gateshead, in January.
He was left with a range of injuries including a broken collar bone.
Gatiss, 25, of Split Crow Road in Gateshead, later admitted assault with intent to rob and was sentenced to four years in prison.
However, despite being strangers, the 21–year–old from Greenside, Gateshead, decided to help out and created the online fundraising page which saw donations coming in from across the globe. It eventually raised enough cash to buy Mr Barnes a new house in the area. At the time Mr Barnes said: “I’m very grateful still to everyone who helped me get this house, especially Katie.
“I’m glad I’ve put the money to good use.”
Katie, a beautician, then set herself the ambitious target of raising £1 million and aims to help 20 people by September, through the Katie Cutler Foundation, which she has since launched.