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Mystery donor replaces disabled girl's computer

PUBLISHED: 10:43 21 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:42 07 September 2010

Palwasha Akbari

Palwasha Akbari

GENEROUS Ham&High readers have not only replaced disabled student Palwasha Akbari s stolen computer – but also provided cash to buy new software as well. Last week, the Ham&High reported how burglars targeted Jack Taylor Special School in

Susanna Wilkey

GENEROUS Ham&High readers have not only replaced disabled student Palwasha Akbari's stolen computer - but also provided cash to buy new software as well.

Last week, the Ham&High reported how burglars targeted Jack Taylor Special School in Swiss Cottage on January 8.

The school had been forced to close during the cold snap and burglars smashed windows of the teenager's classroom and stole her specially-adapted laptop.

It was the second time in two years that the Ainsworth Way school had been raided and the second time Palwasha had been deprived of her laptop - a vital lifeline to her education.

The 17-year-old has severe learning difficulties and cerebral palsy and has been going to the school since she was five. She relies on the computer for learning and cannot write without it.

But now an anonymous Hampstead donor has bought her a new laptop and several others have sent cheques to pay for new software, which so far total £125.

A delighted Palwasha, of Maida Vale, said: "I am really happy that I am getting a new computer and special programmes and I am really excited to start using it for school again.

"Thank you to all the people who helped me get a new one. I am really grateful. It is really good and I am very happy. I will use it a lot."

Generous landlord Andrew Carey, of the Haverstock Arms, on Haverstock Hill, has also offered to donate some proceeds from his Burns' Night event on Monday.

Labour councillor Roger Robinson was also one of many who offered financial help.

Deputy headteacher Julie Ashworth said: "It is absolutely amazing. It is fantastic that the Ham&High ran the story and that there was such a great response.

"I am really pleased because it means we can replace the stolen one as quickly as possible which was not an option for us before.

"It is fantastic for Palwasha to get up and running again. She is totally dependent on the laptop for all her learning.

"It restores your faith in mankind that people have read the story and responded so quickly - especially with everything else going on in the world. It shows people are really generous and kind.

"Palwasha will be very happy when she gets the new computer and we are very grateful to the donor. She was devastated when it got stolen again and she could not believe someone would do this again."

The stolen laptop and its essential software was worth about £1,000. Staff believe the thieves were disturbed by the school's alarm as they only escaped with the computer.

The school was last burgled in January 2008 when thieves also escaped with the school camera, a scanner and a sound system.


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