Alan Barnes fund passes £200,000 as donations to the attacked pensioner continue to mount

The young woman who set up the fund has been described as a ‘credit to humanity’

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The Independent Online

A fund set up to raise money for a disabled pensioner who was mugged outside his home has raised more than £200,000 in three days.

Alan Barnes, 67, broke his collarbone after he was mugged outside his own home in Gateshead while taking out his rubbish.

Mr Barnes, who is visually impaired, was left terrified after the attack and refused to return to the house.

Katie Cutler, 21, who lives nearby, was so shocked by the news that she set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to help him find a new home.

The site aimed to raise £500 for Mr Barnes but donations have flooded in from all over the world and it has now far surpassed the original target.

Pensioner Alan Barnes was mugged last week

There have been over 15,500 donations to the page, and 22,000 social media shares: 20,000 Facebook likes and just over 2,000 Tweets.

Mr Barnes, who has lived with disabilities since birth, after his mother contracted German measles during pregnancy, told the BBC it was "just unbelievable".

"I've heard of fundraising for charities but I've only got a fractured collarbone, I didn't expect that sort of response," he said.

"Thank you doesn't really seem to answer it, does it?"

He told ITV News Tyne Tees that it is people’s generosity that he will remember, rather than the mugging itself: “When my arm’s healed up, it will fade away.

“But the everything that’s come with the fundraising, that will stay with me always.”

Ms Cutler, a beautician, told The Independent: “It doesn’t really feel real at the moment. I feel so overwhelmed, I have just been inundated with emails and messages - it hasn’t sunk in and I can’t believe how lovely people have been.”

Donors from all over the world, including South Africa, Canada, Holland, the USA, and New Zealand, have left messages of support for Mr Barnes.

Emma Warwick wrote: “Wishing you a safe, secure future, one where you will never face fear again.”

Carolyn Kennedy said: “Please be reassured good people outweigh the bad.”

Amy Ryan wrote: “I hope you find a wonderful new home Mr Barnes and can have a very happy future.”

There is also a lot of praise for Ms Cutler and her actions in setting up the fund.  David Massey proclaimed: “Katie Cutler for Prime Minister.”

Nick Peck described Ms Cutler as a “credit to humanity”.

He went on to say: “It's easy to read the news and be horrified and disillusioned, but you did something and it will make a difference, you really should feel so proud.”

You can contribute to the Alan Barnes GoFundMe page here.