A FAMILY is hosting a Valentine’s Disco to raise money for an autism assistance dog to support their youngest son.

Mum of four, Emily Lowndes, is hoping to raise £12,000 to be able to afford a dog for he seven-year-old son Stefan to help him deal with his autism.

The Lowndes family, from Morse Road in Kings Barton, have already raised just over £1,700 ahead of their first fundraising event in February half term.

The family is inviting the public to join their Valentine’s Disco on Friday, February 16 at Weeke Community Centre to help make Stefan’s dream a reality.

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Hampshire Chronicle: Valentine's Disco at Weeke Community CentreValentine's Disco at Weeke Community Centre (Image: Emily Lowndes)

Emily, 41, who works as a paediatric nurse at Shepherds Down, a special school in Compton, said: “We would like to thank everyone who has supported Stefan so far, we are very grateful. We’re very excited to announce our first fundraising event.

“When Stefan is around my friend’s dogs, there is an instant connection, they have a calming effect on him. It’s beautiful to see, no words but there is an understanding between them.

“Stefan is very excited about getting his Autism Assistance Dog and has already been in the pet shop choosing things he thinks the dog will need.

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Hampshire Chronicle: Stefan at the pet shopStefan at the pet shop (Image: Emily Lowndes)

“Stefan knows that having his autism assistance dog will help him to calm down if he feels, sad, worried, angry or scared.”

The Barton Farm Primary pupil said raising enough money to get an assistance dog is “super-duper important”.

The family have teamed up with Bradley Lowery Foundation to raise the £12,000 for the Autism Dogs Charity.

The disco will include pizza, party games and a raffle at the community centre in Taplings Road from 5.30 to 10pm. Tickets cost £5 per adult, £3 per child and under threes go free.

For more information or to donate to Stefan’s JustGiving page go to https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/supportforstefan.