Charity plea after thieves steal £1,000 of donations
PUBLISHED: 09:12 30 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:06 30 July 2018
A "devastated" charity has issued a plea for help after donation boxes containing £1,000 were stolen by thieves.
The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation, based in West Bergholt, Colchester, has reported seven charity tins stolen in two separate incidents this month.
The first theft happened on July 15 at Lexden Rackets and Fitness Club in the town, when it is thought a man entered the building through the roof before stealing a donation box.
Six more were taken from Swinton Insurance on Head Street, following a break in on Tuesday, July 24.
The money had intended to help provide emotional, financial and physical support for young people suffering from cancer.
Nikki Bowdidge, CEO and founder, said: “We are absolutely devastated. These people are stealing from teenagers with cancer. They absolutely rely on these donations.
“That money is the equivalent of three grants or even a laptop for a teenager who is trying to study and keep in touch with their friends while going through treatment.
“It is disgusting people would do this to them.”
Nikki has asked for people to remain vigilant and keep an eye out for anyone with a charity tin, warning they could be “anywhere across Essex”.
She said: “It’s not just the money they have stolen. They now have seven of our branded charity collection tins. What are they going to do with those? I am worried about where they may end up.
“If anyone is approached and asked to have a Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation tin in their shop or business I would ask they please ensure they are a member of the foundation by asking for ID or calling us.
“And we call on those people who have stolen the boxes to do the right thing and hand them and the donations in so the money can go to the people it was intended for.”
Both incidents have been reported to the police.
The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation was set up by Nikki and Richard Bowdidge after their 19-year-old son, Tom, passed away from an extremely rare and aggressive cancer called a soft tissue sarcoma in October 2018.
Tom did a great deal of charity work, raising more than £170,000 before his death – and left strict instructions for his parents and fellow fundraisers to “crack on”.
Anyone who is approached about a Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation charity tin can contact the foundation on 07771 646654.
Those keen to support the foundation can still purchase tickets for Kapow! in Colchester’s Lower Castle Park on September 2, where superheroes will battle inflatable obstacles to raise money for the charity.