Alan Barnes: Disabled pensioner who was mugged outside his own home meets fundraiser Katie Cutler

The experience has been 'overwhelming' and 'magic' for the two of them

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A disabled pensioner whose mugging prompted a global fundraising campaign has met the young woman responsible for the first time.

Alan Barnes and Katie Cutler were brought together when her GoFundMe page raised a staggering £227,000 to help the injured pensioner buy a new home.

He said earlier this week that, after being attacked outside his house, he never wanted to return. Ms Cutler, who lives nearby but had never met Mr Barnes, set up a fundraising page to help him with the costs.

When they met, Mr Barnes told the BBC: “It’s like magic really, I didn’t expect anything.”

A tearful Ms Cutler said: “It’s very overwhelming.”

Alan Barnes and Katie Cutler share a hug as they meet for the first time.png
Alan Barnes and Katie Cutler shared a hug when they met for the first time

Visually impaired, Mr Barnes said he can’t actually see the results for himself but that others have been keeping him up to date with the campaign’s progress, which has gathered pace rapidly over the past three days.

Mr Barnes said his sister has been reading out the comments from the GoFundMe page for him, which has left him “absolutely amazed”.

Ms Cutler said that with individual donations still coming in, and schools and organisations still pledging to hold fundraising events, it was hard to predict the eventual campaign total.

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Alan Barnes was attacked outside his home

She said she was overwhelmed by the response from the international public, but that it had been a demanding few days: “It’s nice to hear all the lovely words that people are saying, but it’s very tiring.”

The Alan Barnes Fund had raised over £227,000 by 17:30 GMT on Sunday, with 17,667 donations.