Thank goodness! Games console destined for PTSD sufferers is given back after being accidentally thrown away in March tip
PUBLISHED: 12:11 03 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:32 04 September 2019
Harry Rutter / ARCHANT
A woman has thanked the people of March after they helped get her games console back after she accidentally threw it in the tip.
Debbie Diablo-Smith planned to donate her Nintendo Wii with games and all of the accessories to those suffering with PTSD.
But the serial charity worker had the shock of her life when she realised when clearing her office, she had accidentally binned the console at the local dump.
Ms Smith had placed the console into a similar style bin bag to the ones containing her household rubbish destined for the tip.
She said: "I had only taken it to the dump at 2.30pm and I know that they close around 3ish, so I went down at 8am to see if I could get it back.
"One man told me it was not allowed and that I couldn't get it back, even though it was an electrical item and it was placed inside the household waste skip."
While at the tip this morning (September 3), Ms Smith continued to get rid of some of her office waste. It was then that she spotted the console on top of rubbish.
She added: "I could see it! We could have easily hooked it out, but the men started shouting that I needed to leave because the skip lorries were coming in. I was really upset."
Ms Smith says she has been inundated with supportive messages after she posted the ordeal on social media; people have even offered up their own Wii consoles.
An avid charity supporter, Ms Smith fundraised to help set up a holiday retreat in Camber Sands for those with PTSD to relax with their family free of charge.
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Ms Smith has taken on a number of charity challenges over the years, including a 1,000-mile bike ride in Vietnam and a 420-mile cycle challenge from Paris to London.
In one of her recent feedback forms, one holidaymaker suggested to make the coastal static caravan more family friendly, she should think about getting some games.
It was then that Debbie decided to donate her Nintendo Wii with all of the accessories and dozens of games for her Veterans Lifeline guests to enjoy.
She added: "The people of March have been lovely. Some people have been calling up the tip and asking why I couldn't have it back.
"I even phoned Cambridgeshire County Council who told me they would also try and get the games console back for me."
During a telephone interview with this newspaper, an employee at the skip phoned Ms Smith, they told her the Wii had been 'hooked out' and she could collect it.
She said: "I know it's not that expensive but that is not the point, I had promised these people it and I was just so upset.
"Because it had been all over Facebook and on the March Free Discussion, I think the tip knew that they couldn't keep it [the Wii console]."
A spokesman for Amey - who operates the tip - said: "Amey is committed to providing the best possible service to the local community.
"We will try to retrieve items misplaced by the public when it is safe to do so, however, we take the safety of our staff extremely seriously and it is our main priority."
For more information on Veterans Lifeline and how to support the charity, visit: www.veteranslifeline.co.uk