Family says thanks to firm for donating cash

6/8/2011 (MOL)''Veolia in Portsmouth have donated �1,000 to Sian Cook after �1,000 was stolen from her home in Portchester.''Pictured is: Darren Moncaster, business area manager at Veolia with Sian Cook (16).''Picture: Sarah Standing (112750-6986)
6/8/2011 (MOL)''Veolia in Portsmouth have donated �1,000 to Sian Cook after �1,000 was stolen from her home in Portchester.''Pictured is: Darren Moncaster, business area manager at Veolia with Sian Cook (16).''Picture: Sarah Standing (112750-6986)
Grace Hutton after the cut
Pictures by Ellie Pilmoor

Grace, from Cosham, says goodbye to hair in memory of mum while Leanne, from Gosport, did the same for cancer charities

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WHEN teenager Sian Cook had the £1,000 she raised for Great Ormond Street Hospital stolen, she was devastated.

She is due to have a life-changing operation at the London hospital next month to save her eyesight.

Sian, 16, raised the money as a donation to say thank you for the care she has received there.

But after reading about the theft in The News, Portsmouth staff at Veolia have replaced the money so Sian can keep her promise.

Paul Jackson, operations director for Veolia, which carries out environmental services, said: ‘As a team we were deeply shocked to read the news of the Cook family’s loss, especially as the money was a ‘thank you’ to Great Ormond Street doctors who are battling to save their daughter Sian’s sight.

‘The article in The News galvanised our team straight in to action and it’s a great credit to the paper that we can proudly announce we have replaced the £1,000.’

Crooks stole the funds from the Cook family home in Southampton Road, Portchester, earlier this year.

It had been collected from ticket sales from a gig staged in Sian’s honour at South Parade Pier that featured UK punk band Buzzcocks.

The family feared they would never get the money back – until now.

Members of staff at the company’s environmental depot, in Quartremaine Road, Copnor, got together to replace the stolen donation.

Three years ago Sian was diagnosed with a rare condition called linear morphea, which causes the loss of hair follicles on the scalp.

It can damage sight as it worsens.

Sian’s operation will remove overgrown skin tissue on her head that is beginning to affect her eyesight.

Mr Jackson added: ‘From everyone at Veolia we wish Sian a speedy recovery and the best of luck for the future.’

Sian said: ‘I want to say a big thanks to Darren and the company and it was very kind of them to come up with the suggestion of helping me.’

Her sister Leah Cook, 22, said: ‘I’m very grateful and it was so kind of them to donate the money. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone at the company. The money is going to really help Sian and a lot of sick children.’