A STRUGGLING dad of five who launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise £2,000 to pay for Christmas has apologised to trolls after smashing the target.
Ben Buckley, 32, from west Hull, tonight said sorry for “any offence” after a plea to help treat his family over the festive period.
Ben had earlier said he needed help after having to reduce his hours at work when his wife got ill during a “complicated” pregnancy.
As donations went from £0 to more than £2,000 today, the dad has expressed his shock in an update on the fundraising page.
He wrote: “I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone, all your kind messages and donations have been overwhelmingly kind.
“I honestly can’t thank you all enough my self and my family appreciate all your generosity enormously and it will never be forgotten.
“To everybody who posted negative comments we are sorry if we caused any offence or upset anyone, this was never our intention.
“We never expected this amount of kindness or media attention.”
Ben added: “In the new year we are going to make it one of our priorities to make monthly donations to other go fund me accounts.
“We wish everyone a very merry Christmas and thank you again to all you kind hearted souls.”
He had earlier said he “understood” the people posting negative comments, saying he knew where they were coming from but had no other options.
The warehouse worker said: “I am embarrassed and I’m ashamed I don’t for a second expect to raise £2000, I just put a figure in the box I’m sorry if I’ve upset and people that was never my intention.
Ben’s appeal came after his wife was admitted to hospital on several occasions with a lung infection – meaning she had to go on oxygen while pregnant.
To support his family during the troubled pregnancy, Mr Buckley says he had to reduce his working hours.
But it left himself “struggling and panicking” as to how he would fund gifts and Christmas essentials for his children, including his new two-week-old baby girl.
Mr Buckley, says he feels “a lot of panic and anxiety” as well as “feeling shameful” over his appeal, but claims he has no other choice if he wants to give his family a Christmas they will remember.
Speaking to Hull Live, he said: “My partner fell pregnant earlier this year and it was quite complicated. We had ups and downs over the last few months.
“She ended up in hospital two or three times with a lung infection so I had to take time off work to help out. Her breathing was laboured and had to go on oxygen for four days straight.
“My contract at work was only 24 hours per week but I did overtime up to 45 hours to make it up. I ended up suffering for a few months when I didn’t get my full wage.
“We don’t have a big family network. My mum and dad only make enough to fund themselves so they couldn’t help, so I didn’t know where to turn and what to do.
“We just need a bit of help. I’m struggling and panicking.”
While his partner was pregnant, there were also fears that Mr Buckley’s daughter could have Down Syndrome, causing more worry amongst the family.
That concern wasn’t realised and their new-born baby daughter was delivered just two weeks ago.
But when one worry stopped, the next one wasn’t far away.
“This should be a happy time for us all, but under the surface of it all for me and my partner, it’s nothing but anxiety and worry about what’s to come and what we are to tell the kids and many other things,” he said.
“I’m feeling a lot of panic and anxiety and feeling shameful. It feels embarrassing but I’ve never felt like going doing that (crowdfunding) before.
“I’ve never done it before. It’s what I figured would make things comfortable.
“At the minute, what I have coming in covers surviving. I don’t like the feeling of being a charity case. I don’t like to feel like I’m begging.”