JustGiving finally pays out cash raised for Cosham baby shop after ram-raid

A SHOP owner who was denied money raised for her baby business that was raided by thieves is toasting victory after the donation site that was withholding funds suddenly coughed up.

Friday, 28th June 2019, 2:05 pm
Updated Monday, 1st July 2019, 3:00 pm
Owner of Funky Baby Boutique Fiona Bennett-Rice. Picture: Sarah Standing (180219-9516)

Fundraising site JustGiving had refused to hand over £500 to owner of Funky Baby Boutique Fiona Bennett-Rice despite the money being raised within days of the appeal.

But now following The News’ article last week the website has finally agreed to pay the money – four months later.

Loyal supporters had rallied around to help the shop in Cosham High Street that was targeted in February by thieves who smashed up the front of the shop before stealing a whole railing of clothes worth £1,000.

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The ‘devastating’ losses Fiona suffered are forcing her to close the shop on July 10.

The shop owner was furious after being denied the funds that had been raised for her, saying: ‘I was already a struggling business as the footfall has seriously diminished in the last year which had already raised alarm bells. The final nail in the coffin has come after having a nightmare trying to recover the funds from the fund me page.

‘The target was reached within two weeks and the girl who set the page up has had no joy in withdrawal of the funds. Four months on we are still no closer to making a successful withdrawal.’

But now after finally receiving the money, Fiona said: ‘I can’t believe it – I’m very happy and grateful to The News. It makes you wonder what the hold-up was and why they didn’t do it a few months ago after we gave them everything they asked for.

‘Hopefully they will release money to all the other people who they have done the same thing to.’

A spokeswoman for JustGiving said: ‘It appears there was a short delay as part of JustGiving’s verification process – this is in place to ensure that funds reach the right person.’

Fiona is now holding a half-price clearance sale before her business goes online – saving her £900 in monthly costs to run the shop.