Alex’s appeal: How old fashioned community spirit combined with social media revolution made the difference

Alex Novakovic and his mum Jasmin
Alex Novakovic and his mum Jasmin
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The speed with which hundreds of thousands of pounds was raised to help Alex Novakovic has been incredible to see.

With the help of events around Aylesbury and further afield to countless online re-tweets and donations, nearly all the money has been raised in less than a week.

It might seem such fundraising would only be possible with the help of wider organisation, but Alex’s family say it is down to the goodwill of the community.

Dan O’Brien, Alex’s uncle, said: “We have found something to do for everyone who asked to help. We never turned away help at any point.

“We never had to ask anyone to do anything, it was all just offered automatically.

“People have come forward with ideas and we have just said ‘go for it’.

“We had no time to think of a strategy or a plan, we just let people run with ideas.

“Sometimes in life you can’t help people but in this case everyone thought they might be able to make a difference and they did.”

A few years ago such a spectacular story may not have been possible without the help of social media, a tool which has been extensively used to spread the word, organise events and harness the support of celebrities.

Aylesbury’s MP David Lidington said: “It’s been an incredible illustration of how modern media and social networking can be a force for good.

“We have had so many stories in recent months of how modern technology can be used to do harm,but this is a heartening example of the reverse.

He added: “It’s impressive and moving and it’s a sign that the local community spirit is in good health.”