A woman who had her allotment destroyed has now received more than £170,000 in donations from supporters, including celebrities, to help with repairs.
Carly Burd, 43, from Harlow in Essex, transformed her garden to help feed people during the cost of living crisis.
Ms Burd had been growing organic fruit and vegetables as part of her ‘A Meal on Me With Love’ initiative. But yesterday, she discovered that over five kilograms of salt was thrown on the soil, damaging and dehydrating the plants.
In the tearful video posted on TikTok, Ms Burd said she was “heartbroken” by what happened to her garden.
However, she now has more than enough to fix the problem after her story went viral and garnered the attention of people across the country – including one Gary Lineker.
The Match Of The Day host tweeted “why would you ever do something like that?” alongside a video of Ms Burd in tears at her allotment.
A £500 donation under his name then popped up on her page.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” Ms Burd said.
“I took a picture (of the then top donation) just because it said Gary Lineker… I couldn’t believe it, I was over the moon.”
Yesterday at 2pm, the fundraising page – which was first set up in September 2022 – had around £4,000 in donations and since then, by Thursday at 11.30am donations hit over £170,000.
Entrepreneur and BBC Dragon Steven Bartlett also donated £2,000.
Ms Burd said: “I’m just absolutely overwhelmed by everybody’s generosity.
“It just feels like a dream, that’s all I can say. It feels like in a minute someone will shake me and wake me up.
“I think, at the moment, if anyone pushes me, I will fall over. It’s just a complete dream today.”
‘I wanted to do something to bring the community closer’
Ms Burd had posted to tell everyone what she was dealing with after the incident yesterday.
“I’m still absolutely heartbroken,” she said.
In hopes of repairing the damages Ms Burd began digging out the salt scattered all over the soil but said “all I could taste was salt in the air.”
The video continued: “I think about the onions that we planted, the kids planted, and they sat there and they even said to me, ‘Who is this going to?’ and I said, ‘it’s going to a family that needs it’ and bless them they were so excited to do it and it’s heartbreaking because I see all their little onions all destroyed.”
Ms Burd said the onions would have helped to feed 300 families.
Now, with all the money people have raised, she says she might turn her initiative into a charity.
She said: “I can buy a rotavator and I can do it myself and I haven’t got to rely on people… I can actually just crack on with it myself and that’s a massive help.
“I can get all of the allotments sorted and we can get this running; it will be so good for our community, we really do need it.”
Ms Burd added: “The messages get to me the most because someone’s taken the time out to sit and actually write that and it means a real lot to me.
“To everyone that’s donated and all the support: thank you so much.
“One message I’d like to share to people is: just be kind.”