Big-hearted Alfie was facing a miserable birthday after a flood at his home but the community rallied in a heart-warming way

Big-hearted Alfie Dean has been inundated with birthday cards, gifts and messages after an appeal by his mum.

Alfie, who started the Babbacombe Pantry during Covid-19 lockdown to help support his neighbourhood, was facing a disappointing 14th birthday.

He and mum Lucy are living in a hotel currently after their home in Babbacombe Road was flooded during heavy rainfall.

They lost all their belongings on the ground floor, including Alfie’s birthday presents which were found ruined in the aftermath.

Lucy made a secret appeal on social media to try to make his birthday special by asking for cards for him to open.

Although covered by insurance, it is unlikely to be settled until October so Lucy was struggling to replace the lost presents.

The family were amazed at the positive response.

Lucy said: “On behalf of Alfie and myself, thank you from the very bottom of our hearts for the sight he woke up to in our hotel room.

“The cards, gifts and the most amazing messages of love and support.

“It’s been so emotional it’s hard to articulate just how grateful I am to each and every one of you.

“To put yourself out for us, in a time of such hardship and uncertainty, has warmed our hearts from the inside out.

“My post started out as a way to make Alfie’s day special in difficult circumstances, what it became was so much more than that.

“It’s highlighted and paid tribute to the purest form of friendship and love that can be accessed through the power of community.

“In the past two weeks Alfie and I have lost so much in the material sense. “But what we have gained is worth so much more.

“And for that reason this morning we feel like the richest people in Torbay.”

She said Alfie understood his gifts couldn’t be replaced in time and was ‘totally amazing about it’.

But she wanted to make sure his birthday was special.

During lockdown, Alfie used a bookcase from his bedroom outside their home providing groceries and essentials after he noticed older people were struggling to local shops