Charity brings a smile back to seven-year-old autistic boy’s face with Halloween party

PUBLISHED: 09:10 31 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:10 31 October 2017

Smile London and Essex organised a Halloween party for a seven-year-old autistic boy after his pumpkin was stolen. Picture: Maria Rackley

Smile London and Essex organised a Halloween party for a seven-year-old autistic boy after his pumpkin was stolen. Picture: Maria Rackley

Maria Rackley

A charity made it the “best Halloween ever” for a seven-year-old boy with autism, by throwing him a party after his carved pumpkin was stolen.

Oliver Foster, of Harold Hill, was “in bits” after his family discovered that someone had stolen his precious pumpkin last Wednesday when it was proudly displayed outside his home.

But when his mum Clare posted the news on Facebook, Smile London and Essex, a charity which helps the homeless and vulnerable communities, knew they had to step in.

Founder Maria Rackley said: “It was really upsetting to hear what had happened with Oliver’s pumpkin and we wanted to cheer him up again.

“It’s very unfair, especially since this was the first pumpkin he has ever carved.

“We just wanted to put the smile back on his face.”

The charity called on residents in the area to attend their Halloween-themed community surprise party for Oliver and to his delight, on Friday he was greeted by friends, family and neighbours.

Many of which were carrying pumpkins to replace his first one.

Mum Clare said: “If I’m honest when I posted about someone stealing Oliver’s pumpkin I expected maybe a few “how awful” comments, but the response I had literally blew me away.

“Then Maria from Smile contacted me and said she wanted to plan something special for him.

“I was completely shocked and so overwhelmed.

“She put so much time and effort into organising it, and so many people contributed, opening up their homes and giving up their time.”

From dressing up and dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, to apple bobbing, musical zombies and a doughnut challenge, the party turned out to be a treat for the whole community.

Clare said: “When we left and we were on our way home he said “that was the best Halloween ever” and now, several days on he still keeps talking about it.

“I can’t thank Maria and Smile enough, they made his day.

“People from the community came together to make my little boy smile and I thank them all from the bottom of my heart.”

For more information about the charity, visit

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