Generous donors step forward after theft of charity box from Aylsham

PUBLISHED: 11:00 21 December 2012

Annabel Hughes and her twins Henry and Rebekah, 7.

Annabel Hughes and her twins Henry and Rebekah, 7. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2012

Kind-hearted readers have been in touch wanting to help after hearing of a mother’s anger at the theft of more than £100 from a charity box in Aylsham.

Annabel Hughes was horrified when she realised the cash had been taken from the Dravet Syndrome UK collection box which was beside her family’s decorated tree in Aylsham church’s Christmas tree festival earlier this month.

Mrs Hughes’ daughter Rebekah, seven, suffers from Dravet’s, a form of epilepsy which can cause life-threatening seizures. Rebekah has a twin brother, Henry.

The church has since given Mrs Hughes, of Blickling Road, Aylsham, £50 for the charity as a gesture of goodwill. Dravet’s Syndrome UK fund research into the incurable condition, and buy vital monitors for parents and carers to alert them of dangerous night-time seizures.

After reading about the theft in the EDP, a south Norfolk man who wishes to remain anonymous contacted the paper and said: “I understand that over £100 was stolen - with the church donating £50 as compensation. I would like to donate the balance of £50.”

Another man, Aylsham resident Ian Woodley, said he was appalled by the story and also wanted to make a donation.

And Mrs Hughes said she had also been contacted by a couple of people via the police who wanted to help.

“It’s really heartwarming. We felt so upset by it all but now we know that it’s only a small minority of people who does that sort of thing. The vast majority are kind and caring,” she said.

“So many people are prepared to go the extra mile. They not only read about it, they make the effort to get in contact and donate money. It’s fabulous and we’re very grateful.”

● Anyone with information on the theft should ring Aylsham Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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