The owner of a newsagent which had charity boxes stolen during a break-in has replaced the cash – and donated more besides – thanks to the kindness of her regular customers.
Jo Durham, the owner of Queen’s Parade News off Privett Road in Gosport, was devastated when her shop was targeted in a late-night raid.
The thieves did not take much, but did run off with three charity boxes in aid of Harbour Cancer Support in Gosport, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and Wave 105 Cash for Kids.
At the time Mrs Durham said she was left ‘in pieces’ after the break-in, mainly because it was customers’ money in the charity boxes that had been taken.
But now, after a crowdfunding campaign that was set up by her regular customer Marie Pazzard which also helped to fund the cost of a replacement door, and donations that came into the shop, Mrs Durham has been able to donate hundreds of pounds to the charities - and she says handing over the cash has felt like taking a big step forward after the raid.
Each has now received a cheque for £245.68.
Mrs Durham said: ‘This is a lovely example of the feelgood factor brought on by community spirit. The coming together of good-hearted people, showing their support on the back of very nasty, mindless actions is priceless.
‘I cannot fully express how deeply touched I am by the heartwarming actions of my local community both in store and by the JustGiving donations.
‘Huge, huge thank yous to each and every person who expressed their disgust towards the cretins and their sadness towards me. Once I handed over the donations I felt a sense of exoneration, moving on as I will not let them beat me.’
Nobody has yet been arrested after the incident.
The shop was also a collection point for Wave105 Mission Christmas and was donated more than 280 toys & £215 in cash.