THE daughter of a former Lake District subpostmaster has founded a support group for the children of victims of the Post Office Horizon scandal. 

Katie Downey set up Lost Chances for Subpostmaster Children to share their feelings and stories - but also with the mission to speak to Fujitsu to seek compensation for their lost chances and opportunities.

The 25-year-old has requested a meeting with Paul Patterson, the UK's Fujitsu director, to seek family funds and educational compensation, such as scholarships or mentorships.

The group now has more than 80 children of subpostmasters across England, Scotland and Ireland.

Katie lived in Hawkshead with her family until the age of 11 when they 'dragged her away' to France after her dad Tony Downey was declared bankrupt following the Post Office Horizon scandal.

The Mail: Tony Downey attending a session of the Post Office public inquiryTony Downey attending a session of the Post Office public inquiry (Image: Tony Downey)

Mr Downey said his health had deteriorated since being suspended by the Post Office and wrongly accused of stealing £35,000 from Hawkshead Post Office.

She explained she was 'bullied from day one' and with the family being 'upset all the time' she she shut herself out from life and did not speak for two years.

"They gave me two days' notice and took me to France where I couldn't speak the language," she said. 

"They dragged me away from a life I loved to a very depressing life and it just caused so many issues to my mental health.

"I found it really hard because I had to do an educational system in another language and I blamed mum and dad for everything which I still feel guilty about saying today and as soon as I was 18 I left home because I didn't want to be with them."

The Mail: Young Katie in the Lakes.Young Katie in the Lakes. (Image: Submitted)

Fifteen years later after her life changed, Katie explained that she now understands her parents but the stress the scandal caused to her family 'should never have happened.'

She said: "It just affected so many different people and it shouldn't have. It is not our mum's and dad's fault, it's the Post Office who has caused this.

"I have only found out about all this six months ago and I'm still processing all of this."

She explained she and her family received messages from people from Hawkshead who said they had never realised what had happened.

"I do believe there are still probably people that think my dad stole," said Katie.

"I don't think the Post Office realised what they have done. We have got people who have developed eating disorders and become anorexic and nearly died. Some people had to help financially their mums and dads and some people have lost their mums and dads to suicide and I just don't know how the Post Office cannot realise how far it has affected people - it is heartbreaking.

"We would love an apology from the Post Office but that hasn't happened yet Fujitsu actually apologised so we want to support their reputation and see if they will have this meeting with us and see what they can do."

For more information about Lost Chances for Subpostmaster Children visit their campaign here.