Muswell Hill toymaker gifts present to autistic boy, 10, after Ham&High story
- Credit: Polly Hancock
A 10-year-old boy with autism received a special present from a kind Ham&High reader in Muswell Hill on Saturday morning.
Toymaker George Pornaris, 53, wanted to donate his best-selling Nutty Putty set to Kristian Buckingham after reading in this newspaper about the challenges he and his family faced during the Covid-19 lockdown in March.
Parents Stéphanie and Simon Buckingham brought Kristian to Muswell Hill’s Halliwick recreation ground to meet George.
George, the co-founder of Alphabet Pie toys, said: “It was such a heart-warming story and I just felt for them, and thought why not give them something to hopefully make him happy and relax him a bit.
“It’s a kind thing to do, and in this world you need kindness and compassion.
“I’m glad I’ve met Kristian, he’s quite a character, and I’m sure he’s going to have lots of fun.
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“He’s a happy child, and that makes me happy as well."
Stéphanie said: “It’s restored my faith in humanity.
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“This past year has been so difficult for everyone, and having someone kind like George donating something amazing for our autistic son feels like an early Christmas present.”
When the UK went into lockdown in March, Stéphanie said they were left with no government support and Kristian began self-harming and screaming, which distressed his twin Alex and 15-year-old brother Andrew .
She added: “The past month hasn’t been quite as horrendous as the first lockdown, but it was still difficult because some respite services closed again.”
“Kristian being back at school has been the number one help for all of us, for our mental health.”
Stéphanie's husband Simon added: “He’s much calmer at school. It’s better for him and better for us.
“The first time the bus came to pick him up, I’ve never seen him so happy. He’s one of the few kids who likes going to school.”
George, who lives with his cat and three dogs, launched Alphabet Pie in 2013 with business partner Eliana Perdios, and has two sons, Christopher, 25, and Andrew, 21.
“They definitely inspired me, because I live for them,” George said.