Real Life

Mum blasted for asking strangers to crowdfund Disneyland holiday for her and her daughters

Nikki Smith took down the Go Fund Me page after receiving backlash

A mum-of-two has faced internet backlash after beginning a crowdfunding campaign to pay for a family holiday.

Nikki Smith, from Bristol, started up the page on popular site Go Fund Me to pay for a £5,000 trip for her and her two daughters, 10 & 12.

Go Fund Me is a crowdfunding site for people to raise money for charitable causes like events and celebrations, or more unfortunate circumstances, like illnesses.

Nikki Smith was trying to raise money for a Disneyworld holiday using charitable crowdfund site Go Fund Me (Credit: Facebook/ Nikki Smith)

But Nikki, 33, "didn't realise" the purpose of the site, and was slammed online by people who were furious that she used it for this purpose.

Nikki, 33, received comments such as: "Taking the absolute piss. There are plenty of families who struggle with money that save for holidays regardless of how long it takes. Absolute chancer."

Someone else said: "This just ruins the actual purpose of the page, there should be an admin who monitors it."

Another person wrote: "Pure cheek right there."

The momentum kept building, and the page was shared on Facebook over 18,000 times - causing Nikki to take the page down.

Nikki was trying to pay for the holiday for her two daughters (Credit: Go Fund Me)

Speaking to The Sun Online, she said that she had "seen quite a few people" using the site to raise money for holidays, and that she "didn't realise" before she set the page up: "It was a bad idea I guess. I didn't think people would react like that."

Nikki works as a carer in a hospital two nights a week, and wrote in her original Go Fund Me page that this was "all I am able to do at the moment because of childcare and contract hours".

She continued: "It's a wish list on the Go Fund me page – people can save up to travel around the world and everything, there are different funding ideas in there.

"I just thought it would be the only way it would ever happen. It's so hard to save with two children as well as working part time, you've got the bills and shopping – it would probably take me 10 years to save up that much and it would be too late then."

Since re-opening the page, Nikki has received a further £80, taking the total to £90 (Credit: Go Fund Me)

Nikki originally wrote on her Go Fund Me page, which only raised £10: "I have been blessed with the most amazing, kind, loving and caring daughters, they are my best friends and my life.

"They are so helpful, animal-loving and rays of sunshine, I want to show them how much I appreciate and love them.

"I know that I would never be able to get them to Disneyland on my own because of bills etc.

"We lost two very special people in our lives these past couple of years and this really would give them so much to look forward to, please help me to make my daughters dreams come true."

The Loose Women even spoke about Nikki's situation (Credit: ITV)

Nikki was even mentioned on Loose Women this week. Janet Street-Porter said: "I genuinely feel sorry for her, and my heart goes out to her that she can't give her children a trip that they obviously want.

"But when I was little, we didn't have much money, and if we wanted a trip to the seaside, my mum and dad put money in a pot every single week - once a year we had a day trip to Bognor.

"I think it's the normalising of a trip to Disneyland that is somehow a child's 'right' - it isn't a right, it's very expensive."

Ruth Langsford said: "I do feel for her, but to me, asking for everyone else to fund it - it IS begging."

Coleen Nolan defended Nikki, saying: "It was worth a try! Somebody might have paid for it. I can't knock her for trying."

A poll on their website asked: "Do you think it's acceptable to ask stranger to pay for your family holiday?" with 96% of the responders answering no.

Nikki reasoned that she would never be able to raise the money for the trip on her own (Credit: Getty Images)

Following the backlash, Nikki has now reopened the Go Fund Me page after being encouraged by friends and family. She has added an update to the page which reads: "After the worst few days I was prompted to put my page back up.

"I feel this to be the only way I can speak out. I am not a bad person. I also am not asking people for their hard earned money – people have a choice.

"Yes, I should have thought about it more before I opened it but it's too late now. I love my children and my job, I was only thinking of my children and making them happy.

"I have never used Go Fund Me before so I should have looked into it more. I believed Go Fund Me was a chance to raise money for anything.

"I looked in the category and a lot of people were doing similar things, even raising money for breast enhancements and cars.

"I never meant to upset anyone. I'm traumatised by the abuse and negativity I have received and only put this back up because a lot of people said I should. Online trolls are evil.

"I haven't hurt anyone and I was only trying to fulfil my children's dreams."

Since the page has reopened, Nikki has received an extra £80, taking the grand total to £90.

Do you think Nikki was right to start a Go Fund Me page to pay for her holiday? Would you give money to someone who wanted money for a holiday? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

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