Pop star Kim Wilde has openeda restaurant which aims to help those suffering from a rare and fatal disease.
Called Latini's, the restaurant and coffee shop at Commercial Road, Parkstone, will give five per cent of its takings to the Friedrich's Ataxia Group. It is run by Andrea and Maria Latini of Parkstone, Poole, whose 24-year-old son Lorenzo was diagnosed with FA at 18.
Chart star Kim Wilde, who is a vice-president of the Friedrich's Ataxia Group, witnessed the effects of the disease when a friend contracted the disease.
"I just fell if you are going to become involved in any charity, it may as well be for personal reasons. Watching someone you know debilitated so dramatically had a profound effect on me", said Kim.
She was delighted with the restaurant and the food, which is cooked by Italian born Andrea, who has worked in many restaurants in Bournemouth and Poole.
"The pasta which is handmade on the premises was just exquisite", said Kim.
The venture was the idea of family friend, Mark Liddle, who pursuaded 80 local companies to help set up the restaurant in a just eight months.
David Wrinch, the FA Group's director of fundraising, said: "The restaurant is one of the most unusual fundraising ventures I know of."
FA is a progressive, disabling disease of the nervous system which develops in apparently healthy children between the ages of eight and 15. They become clumsy and develop speech difficulties.
This is followed by tremors of the hands, head, deformity of the feet and curvature of the spine. Soon they are confined to a wheelchair. But the brain remains unaffected.
One person in 55,000 carries the defective gene which causes FA. In Dorset there are 23 FA families.
Former That's Life star Glyn Worsnip suffers from the adult version, Cerebellar Ataxia.
The Latini's hope the restaurant will generate between £10,000 and £25,000 per year for the FA Group.