Well-wishers help to replace stolen cash

Malcolm Garbutt  with some merchandise by his stall.''Picture: Sarah Standing (123497-411)
Malcolm Garbutt with some merchandise by his stall.''Picture: Sarah Standing (123497-411)
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THE kindness of strangers has left a charity fundraiser overwhelmed.

Malcolm Garbutt had £120 stolen from his Help for Heroes stall in the Meridian Centre, Havant, earlier this month.

Following a story in The News, members of the public rallied round to replace the money – and ended up raising far more.

An elderly man travelled from Southsea on the bus to give Mr Garbutt, from Hayling Island, £120.

And a little girl was so moved by what happened she drew him a picture of the Help for Heroes logo of two soldiers carrying a comrade on a stretcher.

Pauline Pattison, from Cowplain, donated the money she made from making cards to the charity.

Shopkeepers in the Meridian Centre in West Street also chipped in.

Mr Garbutt said: ‘I’d like to thank everyone for being so unbelievably generous. It’s totally overwhelming.

‘Rob Fryer, the manager of the Meridian, got all the shopkeepers to have a whip round and they raised £168 –which more than covered what was stolen.

‘The elderly man said he doesn’t leave the house much so to come all this way to give me that money was something else.

‘He wouldn’t even give me his name. What a kind gent.

‘The picture drawn by the little girl left me well and truly choked up. It was so sweet. She said it was for the soldiers so that they won’t be sad.’

The cash was stolen from inside a suitcase at 12.30pm on Saturday, February 2. Call police on 101 with any information.