Community helps Burgess Hill mother and son after car crashes into living room

A community has rallied to help a Burgess Hill woman after a car crashed into her bungalow in Temple Grove.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 4:47 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 10:31 am

Amanda Duffy, 58, and her son Ashley, 24, had a narrow escape when a car went through their living room wall on the evening of Wednesday, March 31.

Amanda, who was in the living room at the time, said the car came through her wall ‘like a knife through butter’, destroying the TV, the radiator, her kitchen pipes and her computer table.

“I couldn’t believe what had happened,” she said, adding that luckily, she only had a few bruises.

Amanda Duffy and her son Ashley in front of their damaged bungalow in Temple Grove. Picture by Steve Robards

Amanda was helped out of the house by her neighbours David Kennard, 35, Gary Tweddle, 28, and Michael Jones who also helped the driver out of the car.

The fire service helped Ashley out of the building.

Read Amanda’s description of the moment the car crashed into her living room here.

One of her neighbours Emma Kennard, 36, booked Amanda and Ashley into a Travelodge before Southern Housing moved them into temporary accommodation.

Amanda Duffy and her son Ashley with neighbours and members of the local community. Picture by Steve Robards

Emma and neighbour Sara Tweddle, 50, then put out pleas on Facebook to see if anyone could donate furniture.

“People were so kind in giving,” said Sara, whose GoFundMe for Amanda and Ashley has raised £430.

Emma and Sara thanked Mark Savage from Fully-Licensed Waste Clearances and Removals in Burgess Hill who supplied Amanda and Ashley with sofas, beds and a TV unit.

They also thanked Colin Hill from Burgess Hill charity Computers for Kids who gave Ashley a computer and three months of free wifi.

C4K volunteer Penny Langley set up the computer and found an electric cooker.

Emma and Sara thanked DR Plumbing too for taking away broken furnishings and Burgess Hill resident Phil Cross for taking away rubble.

Archers Skip Bags and Waste Management in Haywards Heath took away plaster board and neighbour Kerry Boxall and her family helped clear the rubble.

Neighbour Catherine Soudani helped Emma make dinners for Amanda and Ashley, while Bentswood Hub in Haywards Heath and Tesco Express supplied some food.

Burgess Hill councillor Samantha Smith (Dunstall Ward), who arranged for some of the rubbish to be collected, said: “The upheaval for Amanda and Ashley is enormous and the huge community effort of Temple Grove has been truly wonderful.”

Mrs Smith congratulated Mark Savage, as well as Lance Gibson and Tony Smith from Mid Sussex Auctions who collected damaged furniture.

“I’m absolutely beside myself with happiness,” said Amanda.

“It’s incredible to have such amazing neighbours and help from far and wide,” she added.

“Ashley and myself cannot express enough gratitude.”