The only thing Harry Brinkworth wanted to do on his 11th birthday was go bowling with his friends.

It was a simple wish, but when the two people he invited told him they wouldn’t be attending, his plans were quickly dashed.


“I mentioned to him that I needed to know what friends he wanted to come to his party so I could send invites,” Hannah said. “He said two names, but when I asked again he said they weren’t allowed to come. I said I didn’t understand, and he turned around and, at 10-years-old, said one had told him their mum doesn’t like him and they can’t play with him.”


Heartbroken and frustrated for her son with autism, Hannah shared their situation on Instagram where she asked for people to send Harry birthday cards to cheer him up.


“I found it absolutely baffling — it’s not the kids’ issue, it’s the parents’ lack of understanding about Harry’s issues,” she said. “It’s not discussed enough how parents talk about kids with additional needs or SEN (Special Educational Needs) issues, and they don’t understand the impact of what they say in front of their kids, which is then repeated — it’s unacceptable.”

birthday wishes card for harry
One of the Birthday wishes cards Harry got



“I wish I could share every single message,” she said. “They’ve all been so touching, beautiful, and so gratefully received. There are hundreds of cards, but he’s been through every single one… read and reread.”


Strangers’ kindness didn’t end there, though! As Hannah’s social media post took off, several local families reached out and asked if they and their children could get an invite to the bowling party.

harry birthday part
Harry with his new friends at bowling party on his birthday

Around 30 children ended up showing up to Harry’s party — that was enough people to fill five lanes!

“It was the best birthday I’ve ever had,” Harry said.


Hannah is happy that her son got the birthday he’s always wanted, and she hopes that the people who hear Harry’s story recognize that this is just one story out of many.


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