Generous gesture ‘snowballed’
Landlady’s effort for widow robbed at grave
AN UXBRIDGE woman has helped to cheer up a widow who was robbed while tending to her husband’s grave.
Joanna Barrett, 37, a Hillingdon resident who runs Lavins Bar in Hanwell, heard about the despicable crime when the police called and asked if they could look at her CCTV to help identify the suspect.
They said a 73-year-old widow had had her handbag snatched while cleaning her husband’s grave in Hanwell Cemetery on Christmas Eve.
Joanna was so incensed by the robbery she started a fundraising drive which ‘snowballed’ and generated £845.
She said: “When the police told me about it I was shocked. I did not know the lady but I went on Facebook to see if anyone would be interested in raising money and things went from there.
“I only made contact with her after I started fundraising, but then through Facebook I found out it was my friend’s mother.”
The victim, who has not been named by police, fell to the ground during the robbery and now says she is too afraid to go to the cemetery on her own again.
A JustGiving page accompanying the appeal states it is to raise money for the victim to ‘make her smile and feel loved and supported’.
Joanna said the woman was ‘overwhelmed’ after hearing of the generosity of people who had been handing over cash at Lavins Bar.
The community effort far exceeded the £200 that the bar hoped to raise.
Ealing MP Stephen Pound praised the effort and said he will try and get in contact with the victim.
He added: “What Joanna wants to do is show her that there is such a thing as decency and that as a community we look after our own. We want to show her that there is light as well as darkness.”
So far no arrests have been made.
n MAKING HER SMILE: Joanna Barrett (left) with daughter Amber Matthews, who helped put together the fundraising page