Dumpty makes a special stop outside family home

Vikki Jackowiak, Jo-Anne Jackowiak and Lee-Anne Milligan in their walking T-shirts with Dumpty the gnome.
Vikki Jackowiak, Jo-Anne Jackowiak and Lee-Anne Milligan in their walking T-shirts with Dumpty the gnome.

An 11-foot gnome which has been popping up in various locations around Northumberland in aid of a little boy who died earlier this year has made a poignant stop outside the family’s home.

Dumpty has become something of a celebrity over recent months after his eye-catching public appearances and the character is set to go under the hammer at Alnwick Auctions at the end of October.

Money collected from the sale, as well as from his various stops beforehand, will go towards paying for the headstone of Aidan Jackowiak Smith, who died in May after suffering respiratory failure.

The inspirational four-year-old from Alnwick – dubbed the rarest boy in the world – had the complex genetic disorder Cloves Syndrome, suffering huge swelling to his face and body.

His father Karl Smith said that having Dumpty outside the family’s Fire Station Cottages house – which was transformed by the community during a major campaign spearheaded by the Gazette and Alnwick-based MKM Building Supplies – ‘puts a smile on your face’.

Dumpty’s owner Ivan Laidler said it was difficult to put an auction value on the character, but said there has been a lot of interest in buying ‘one of the largest gnomes in the UK’.

Aidan’s mother Vikki Jackowiak, as well as her sisters Jo-Anne Jackowiak and Lee-Anne Milligan, plus cousin Karen Henderson, took part in a 10-mile fund-raising walk in September in memory of the youngster.

The trek, from Longbenton to Whitley Bay, was in aid of Newcastle-based St Oswald’s Hospice, which provided respite for Aidan, and helped raise more than £1,500. It was organised by Vikki’s work friend Tracey Curry. Fellow colleagues at Your House Newcastle also joined in.

They wore special blue T-shirts with the letter A on the front and the words Aidan’s Army on the back.