Dad praises ‘overwhelming’ response after just two people show up to 5-year-old’s birthday party

The father of a five-year-old girl who lives with autism has praised the “overwhelming” response after people rallied around to save his daughter’s birthday party when her friends couldn’t make it.

Remi, aged five, was celebrating her birthday in Abertillery when only two of her friends turned up.

Her dad, PJ Robins, said: “We’d done some invites for a party for Remi, not many – just 10 little friends.”

The 40-year-old added that two guests got in touch on the day to say they couldn’t make it through illness but others hadn’t RSVPed at all.

remi

It was really very sad that none of them had bothered to respond really.

One of the things with the autistic spectrum is that last minute changes are terribly distressing, especially to Remi.

We’d already told her about the party and that we’d invited her friends so she was expecting her friends to be there.

At one point she turned around and said ‘Mummy, where are all of my friends?’ and that was like a knife in the heart.

– PJ ROBINS

remi

PJ, who moved to Abertillery in 2017 with Remi’s mum Becki, then posted on a local community group on Facebook, asking for people to drop by.

In his post, he said: “Please, if anybody has some free time and has a child around my daughter’s age – would you be willing to help us make her party a day to remember.

“We don’t expect anything, not cards or gifts, the part is all paid for and there’s plenty of food, we just want some children to come help our little girl celebrate.”

And the response was incredible – around 14 children and parents turned up and stayed at the party, and a number of random people turned up to wish Remi a “happy birthday” after seeing the post.

The post was shared more than 1,000 times and PJ said he received around 60 messages from people who’d seen his appeal.

Remi was a little bit bewildered, if I’m honest. She had two friends there and then suddenly she had all these other people wishing her happy birthday. She was just looking around like ‘what?

The response was truly overwhelming, and we’re still receiving messages from people in connection with the appeal, asking for our address so they can send cards, or drop in and meet Remi.

A lot of people have also reached out with their own stories of parenting children on the autistic spectrum, offering their support, playdates, and so on.

– PJ ROBINS

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