GENEROUS News readers have stunned church staff by donating cash following a break-in.
Thieves drilled their way into Broadways coffee shop – linked to St John The Baptist Church – and removed security bars to get into the London Road premises in Purbrook through a window.
Once inside, they trashed the volunteer-run shop and ﬂed with collections for The Poppy Appeal in aid of the Royal British Legion, along with collections for the church’s Christmas fair.
Since the theft was reported in The News, more than £100 has been donated by kind-hearted people moved by the theft.
Christopher Yeo, 67, who runs the shop, said: ‘The staff have been overwhelmed by the generosity of many kind people, who have come into the shop and given sizable donations for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and St John’s Church Funds, following our burglary in which money was taken from the charity boxes.
‘It’s pleasing to be assured that there are very many kind thoughtful people in our community. A big thank you to these wonderful people.’
One elderly gentleman travelled on the bus from Portsmouth to Waterlooville, to hand over £50.
Around £90 has been donated to the Poppy Appeal, and £20 to the church Christmas Fair appeal.
It is not known how much the robbers got away with as there was also money taken which was raised on behalf of Portsmouth charities through selling cards.
There was also a collection for The Rowans Hospice.
Mr Yeo added: ‘It was very upsetting because it was personal, it was charity money.’
Police and forensics experts were called in but have informed Mr Yeo that they have not managed to trace the culprits.
It happened between 7.30pm on Friday November 2 and 9.30am the next day.
Call Hampshire police on 101.