A weekly newspaper has launched a £14,000 fundraising appeal to pay for the dental work of a young nurse who lost eight teeth in an attack.
The South Yorkshire Times has set up the Operation Christmas Smile campaign with the family and friends of Astra Taylor to help raise funds for her dental work, which will not be paid for by the NHS.
20-year-old Astra lost the eight teeth after being hit in the face with a bottle during a disturbance at a pub in her home town of Conisbrough, which the police are investigating.
Her family and friends have now rallied round to raise the funds for her treatment with the help of the newspaper, which is urging local people to get involved.
Editor Jim Oldfield said: “For a young woman of 20, to lose her looks like that must have been catastrophic.
“And to have a thing like this happen just at the start of the Christmas party season is as awful as anything you can contemplate.
“We just felt that as the prime campaigning local paper for this area, we had to do something to help.
“The response has been magnificent and watch this space because next week we hope to announce a superb conclusion to Astra’s trials.”
Astra’s family also intend to set up a trust fund in her name to pay the dental bills of other local violence victims.
Reporter Alex Vessey, who covered the story, said: “I’d heard about the attack on the local grapevine and went round to knock the door for quotes.
“But when I met her, I realised her injuries were causing her so much distress – she couldn’t work or even go out – my heart went straight out to her.
“Jim immediately suggested Operation Christmas Smile and all being well, Astra will be smiling again soon!”
The appeal has won the support of local boxing star Stefy Bull, who is a close friend of the family, and plans to set up a sparring exhibition to raise funds.