Fundraising campaign for Stevenage blind boy reaches target in one day

Louie Titre holding the cheque alongside (left to right) Stevenage Community Trust manager Caroline

Louie Titre holding the cheque alongside (left to right) Stevenage Community Trust manager Caroline Haskins, mum Karen and Brian Mitchell, trustee of The Follett Trust - Credit: Archant

A fundraising campaign to help a blind boy become more independent reached its target one day after appearing in the Comet.

Last Thursday we launched a campaign to raise £5,000 for Louie Titre to buy an electric Brailler which can be used as a word processor, web browser, book reader, media player and voice recorder.

Within 24 hours The Follett Trust pledged the full £5,000 and the Stevenage Community Trust offered a further £1,000 to help the eight-year-old, who suffers from a rare condition called septo-optic dysplasia which has meant he has been blind from birth.

The Brailler means Louie, who lives in Priestley Road in Stevenage with his mum Karen, dad Ashley and brother Aiden, will be able to write stories and draw pictures without supervision, as well as a whole host of other creative tasks.

So far £300 has also been donated by the general public, with more than 10 enquiries made through the Comet. Members of Stevenage Judo Club are taking on The National Three Peaks Challenge in July for the cause.

Louie’s mum Karen said: “When I found out I was speechless to be honest. I didn’t want to hold the cheque as it didn’t seem real – it’s unbelievable.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone that has donated and it’s so heartwarming to know that people who have never met Louie can care this much.”

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The family has said they will continue fundraising and will put the extra funds towards a specially adapted printer costing £1,560 which can be used by Louie alongside the Brailler, as well as a speech assisted laptop which can be bought for £1,700.

“This equipment for Louie will be completely life-changing,” added Mrs Titre, who is currently undergoing a self-imposed chocolate ban to raise extra funds.

The Follett Trust, set up by author Ken Follett and his wife, former Stevenage MP Barbara Follett, has helped a variety of causes since being set up in 1997.

Trustee Brian Mitchell, who presented the cheque, said: “We saw the appeal in the Comet and instantly wanted to help. Having met Louie this week I found him to be a very bright boy and an absolute charmer, and we are so grateful to be able to make a contribution to his fund.”

Caroline Haskins, manager of grant-giving charitable organisation the Stevenage Community Trust, said: “Thanks to the ongoing support the Trust receives from many local businesses, we are pleased to be able to help causes such as Louie’s as well as many thousands of other people across Stevenage and the surrounding villages.”

To contact Louie’s family email