When a throw-away comment was posted on Facebook about making a charity car sticker, the author was overwhelmed by an avalanche of support for the idea.
Kim Filomarino Smart is an admin for the “You’re From Bedford UK If...” Facebook group, which currently has more than 5,600 members.
She posted her idea to make a car sticker so members could recognise each other ‘and toot’, which sparked a debate about using them to raise money for charity.
Kim said: “The Facebook group was initially set up as a forum for people to reminisce about the past but people quickly began talking about how we can make Bedford better for the future.
“The car sticker comment just spiralled into this scheme to make money for charity, which we decided should be the Bedford Daycare Hospice.”
With her friend Mariella Iovinelli, Kim set about turning the plan into reality after hundreds of members, including one who now lives in Australia, pledged to buy a sticker.
She said: “A group member offered to design the sticker for free, and we talked about where they could be sold.
“Where I got stuck was finding someone to print them, preferably for free, as we’ve been told it will be a big expense.”
The pair then turned to Bedford Mayor Dave Hodgson who was keen to help get the project off the ground.
Kim said: “He has been amazing with his support for the idea.
“He has asked his team to help with the design and printing, and to use his influence to get local businesses involved.
“So, let’s stop moaning about Bedford and get people working together to make things better!”
Mayor Dave said: “It was great to meet Kim and Mariella and talk about the remarkable way people have responded to the page in its short life so far.
“It’s clear that everyone involved with the ‘You’re From Bedford If...’ page shares a real passion for Bedford’s past, present and its future.”
He added the car sticker appeal “is a fantastic idea in support of an excellent cause in Bedford Daycare Hospice”.
The Facebook group was originally set up by former Bedford resident Pina Chiarelli, who moved to Italy but wanted to keep in touch with her home town.
For more information, or to join the group go to www.facebook.com/groups/ bedfordtown