Cruel thief takes cash from hospice dis­play

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

ATHIEF who tar­geted a char­ity shop which funds East Cheshire Hospice has been slammed as ‘heart­less’.

The lowlife struck the hospice’s Ch­ester­gate shop on March 3 tak­ing a cash col­lec­tion tin.

The tin was part of a dis­play sell­ing Hump­ties – lit­tle knit­ted ‘peo­ple’ de­signed to cover small Easter eggs.

It is es­ti­mated that the tin could have con­tained more than £100.

Eight of the choco­lates have also been stolen from the dis­play.

Staff and vol­un­teers at the char­ity, which sup­ports ter­mi­nally ill pa­tients and their fam­i­lies, are fu­ri­ous at the theft.

Gemma Rem­blance, retail man­ager for the hos- pice, said: “We are dis­gusted. How can you steal from a char­ity, let alone from a char­ity shop.

“It hap­pened right un­der our noses. We don’t have CCTV cam­eras, we rely on the good na­ture and hon­esty of peo­ple and al­ways have some­one on the shop floor. You would have ex­pected that to be enough. No one ex­pected to be a tar­get for heart­less thieves.”

Vol­un­teers have been busy knit­ting Hump­ties to dec­o­rate the 1,000 plus choco­late eggs do­nated to the hospice af­ter it launched a so­cial me­dia ap­peal.

The eggs are on sale for a sug­gested do­na­tion of £1.50 at the shops on Ch­ester­gate and Thorn­ton Square, as well as in the re­cep­tion of the hospice on Mill­bank Drive.

Betty Malkin, one of the team who knits the Hump­ties, said: “A lot of peo­ple spend their time and en­ergy mak­ing th­ese Hump­ties to try and raise money to make things bet­ter for peo­ple at the hospice.

“It’s a sad thing that peo­ple will just walk into a char­ity shop and help them­selves, and not think about the harm they’re do­ing.”

The Ch­ester­gate shop has sold dozens of the Hump­ties with many sup­port­ers do­nat­ing over £5.

Gemma, 32, added: “Our shops are so im­por­tant to the char­ity, which re­lies on do­na­tions to keep run­ning. Of ev­ery £1 spent in the shops 90 pence goes straight to the char­ity, less run­ning costs. And that money is spent help­ing the pa­tients and their fam­i­lies. Who­ever has taken this money has not taken from us, but from those ter­mi­nally ill peo­ple we do our best to help in their last days.”

If any­one has any in­for­ma­tion they should call po­lice on 101 quot­ing in­ci­dent num­ber 0716071680.

Matt Rat­cliffe

●● Dis­gusted vol­un­teers Jo Nadin (front ), Mary Fa­gan and Dylys Steel at the shop

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