Jamie Dornan signs up to help Bangor man build long-lost mum a home in Nepal
Ulster's hottest acting star Jamie Dornan has thrown his weight behind the appeal by Bangor man John Hodge to build his mum a home in Nepal.
An exclusive signed picture of The Fifty Shades star has been donated to John to raffle during a charity concert in August.
The Co Down-born actor, who also starred in BBC drama The Fall, is among thousands of locals who have been moved by the Bangor man's story of how he travelled to Nepal to search for his mum, who he hadn't heard from in almost 30 years.
Money has flooded in to support John in his efforts to build his long lost mum Maile (57) a stable and comfortable home after he found her living almost destitute in a remote village in April.
The 35-year-old father-of-two, who plays bass guitar with local band The Big Kahuna, travelled to Nepal with his wife Emma (34) in April to look for his mum, who he hadn't seen since she left Northern Ireland when he was just six.
John didn't know if she was alive or dead when he set out. He was overjoyed when locals in Nepal helped reunite him with her, but was devastated to find her living in a makeshift hovel with no walls and a mud floor.
On his return he launched an appeal to raise £7,000 to build her a new, more comfortable home. Within days of his story appearing in the Belfast Telegraph thousands of pounds had been donated and now, just over a month after he launched his appeal, John has almost reached his target.
The fund currently sits at £6,725 but, because of soaring building costs in the wake of the earthquake that devastated the region in April, he has been advised that he will now need to raise at least £8,500.
He said: "I had no idea that people would take the story to their hearts the way that they have and that the money would be raised so quickly.
"I am organising a fundraising concert in the King's Head for August 2 and there will be a charity raffle at it and I thought that would be the main fundraiser.
"I'm overwhelmed and so grateful to everyone who has supported me and mum. Getting a signed picture of Jamie Dornan for the raffle has been a great boost."
- To help provide a safer home for John's mum go to https://m.facebook.com/ahouseformaile or gofundme.com/tn5hh7q