Fundraising day for boy’s garden spoilt by theft of collection tin

The fundraiser at Whiteley Shopping Centre to raise money for Oliver Taplin,nine, who is wheelchair bound ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (151140-393)
The fundraiser at Whiteley Shopping Centre to raise money for Oliver Taplin,nine, who is wheelchair bound ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (151140-393)
Alastair Gordon outside court in 2015

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FURIOUS mum Rachel Taplin has told of her disgust after a collection tin was stolen at a fundraising day for her disabled son.

The event was held at Whiteley Shopping Centre to raise money for Oliver Taplin, from Warsash, to redesign the family garden and make it suitable for his wheelchair.

Do the right thing and return Oliver’s money.

Rachel Taplin, 32, from Warsash

The eight-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, enjoys spending time in the garden with his three-year old sister Jasmine but is unable to get to it easily due to an unsuitable back door and steps.

His mum Rachel, 32, launched a campaign to raise £6,000 to carry out redevelopment works.
But she said she was disgusted by the collection tin theft, which happened at some point in the afternoon at the fundraising day.

She said: ‘I was very surprised that somebody would target an event like that where there was such a good vibe and the whole community was joining in. It was disgusting.’

The tin was stolen while many people were present but it had been left unattended.

The event was held in an area monitored by CCTV cameras, which Rachel hopes will be able to help catch the perpetrator.

Neil Carter, shopping centre manager, said they would be looking into it.

He said: ‘It was a rather horrible thing to happen.’

The family’s campaign has raised more than half of its £6,000 total, with the funds raised at Sunday’s event still to be included.

Ms Taplin posted about the incident on the Oliver’s Army Facebook page, and her post was met with support but no one has owned up.
Ms Taplin said she was unsure of how much was in the tin but that if no-one comes forward then she will be reporting the theft to the police.
She added: ‘Whoever it was who stole one of our collection tins I suggest you return it as you were seen on CCTV cameras.
‘Do the right thing and return Oliver’s money.’