Thief smashes hospital charity box in North Walsham and steals contents

The North Walsham and District War Memorial Hospital.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The North Walsham and District War Memorial Hospital.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

Money meant to help the sick has been stolen from a hospital charity box in North Walsham.

Someone smashed open the plastic box, which was fixed to a wall in the reception area of North Walsham and District War Memorial Hospital, and pocketed its contents.

Brian Elliott, chairman of the hospital's league of friends, described the theft as 'completely despicable.'

He added: 'It's something that you can't really excuse - like stealing money from the church collection.'

Friends' treasurer Brian Blackburn said the public had always been extremely generous in donating money to provide top-grade facilities and comforts at the 24-bed community hospital, on Yarmouth Road.

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Since it was rebuilt in 2012, the league had paid for items including more than £6,500 worth of TVs and computer tablets, £3,500 had been spent on new mattresses, £2,500 on new chairs and stools, £1,200 on garden furniture, and - together with the town's Sainsbury's store - nearly £,6000 on restoring the First World War memorial at the hospital and providing a bike shed.

The league also ensured every patient received a Christmas present, and it had ordered £3,700 worth of 'gait analysis' equipment which would help physiotherapy staff assess patients who had undergone hip and other joint operations.

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Mr Elliott said they had now bought a replacement charity box and were discussing the best place to position it, to ensure its safety.

The box was raided sometime between 8.05pm on January 5 and 6am on January 6.

? Anyone with information should contact North Walsham police on 101.

Any donations to the League of Friends of North Walsham and District War Memorial Hospital can be sent to the treasurer, Brian Blackburn, at 22 Northfield Road, North Walsham NR28 0AS.

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