A DISABLED woman said she was “delighted” after raising hundreds of pounds for a charity that has changed her life.
Nicola Daniel, from Basingstoke, organised a coffee morning and silent auction in aid of Canine Partners, which matched her with chocolate Labrador Nutmeg to give her vital support after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2002.
Mrs Daniel said Nutmeg has “changed her life” and as a result she wanted to give something back to the charity.
She enlisted the help of her friend Michael Henbury, the UKs shortest man, who has appeared in Star Wars, Willow, Harry Potter and Labyrinth films to sign autographs and help pull in the crowds at the charity event.
The 33-year-old, who is wheelchair bound, explained: “When I was diagnosed, I completely lost my confidence. I was shy, wouldn’t talk to anyone, or go out on my own. Having Nutmeg has changed my life. I am so grateful to the charity and for what they have done for me.”
She added: “I am delighted that we have been able to raise not just money but also awareness of the charity.”
A host of local businesses donated items for the silent auction, including Oakley Limousines, Dummer Golf Club, and Dimensions Hair and Beauty.
Mr Henbury, officially the UKs shortest man at 2ft 11ins, met Nicola while on a Mediterranean cruise in 2010, and they struck up a firm friendship.
The 52-year-old, from Southampton, told The Gazette: “Having Nutmeg really has turned Nicola’s life around and it is really nice to see. He is not just a helper – he is part of the family and a companion.
“It is easy to get into a rut if this kind of help is not available so I was delighted to be able to come and help her today.”
The event raised more than £800 for Canine Partners. For more information on the charity, visit caninepartners.org.uk.