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£100k raised to help autistic ballerina realise dream thanks to daily

An autistic ballerina has raised £100,000 to attend a prestigious dance school thanks to an appeal first shared by a regional daily.

The Yorkshire Evening Post has helped 13-year-old Constance Bailey to achieve her dream of studying ballet at The Hammond School in Chester from September.

Constance had won a place at the school but her single mother Laura Bailey, 45, is a PA in the NHS and was unable to pay the £30,000 a year school fees.

After coverage in the YEP, the story was picked up by The Guardian, and more than 3,500 people donated to a crowdfunding campaign.

YEP kindness

The appeal’s success provided a splash for the Leeds-based daily yesterday, pictured above.

In an accompanying editorial, deputy editor Joseph Keith wrote: “If the last 18 months have taught us anything, it is how proud we should all feel to live in a city where kindness is commonplace.

“Throughout the pandemic we have seen a constant stream of heartwarming displays of kindness in all shapes and sizes.

“From children painting thank you messages to their local NHS heroes on house windows, to neighbours trudging through the snow to bring elderly shielders a much-needed food shop.

“And that very same kindness has brought a world of joy to talented young Leeds ballerina Constance Bailey.

“But their story, first featured by this newspaper, spread across the internet and now an astonishing £100,000 has been raised to fund the youngster’s dream. The acts of kindness never cease to amaze.”