Sue RyderHospice staff ‘bowled over’ by public’s kindness and support

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A hospice charity has been staggered by the response it has had from so many generous people after a particularly callous thief stole a donation box on Christmas Day.

As reported in the Mercury last week, Allison Mann, director of Sue Ryder’s Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough, wrote an open letter to the culprit which was published on Facebook.

Since the publication of the letter donations totalling more than £5,200 have poured in to the hospice from as far afield as New Zealand.

The letter reached around half a million Facebook and Twitter users, was published on the charity’s website and picked up by media across the country.

Donations have been sent in via the website from sympathetic supporters, while others made a special trip to the hospice to hand over cash.

Among more than 100 donations was £25 from two young girls who handed over the wages from their paper round, Thorney Lakes Golf Club held an impromptu whip round during a New Year competition and worshippers at Peterborough Faizane Madina Central Mosque donated £500.

Businesses have also come forward to support the hospice, with BGL pledging £500 to the charity. Others have set themselves money-spinning challenges, including Daniel Selcraig who has booked a skydive in May and raised £170 sponsorship in just two days.

Hospice director Allison Mann said: “All of us here were upset at the theft of the donation box but the kindness we have been showered with since has bowled us over. We’ve received so many lovely messages of support, donations and promises to help we’ve struggled to keep up with it all.

“We really can’t thank our community enough for their response.

“Every penny we receive is so important because it helps us provide the care our patients need at the most difficult time of their life.”

Cambridgeshire police are investigating the theft.