Young mums in Sidmouth with incurable cancer have been robbed of the chance of a pamper day and wedding boost by a burglar who stole their charity funds.
Fundraiser Laura Bermingham, of Sidford, was ‘furious’ to find cash and raffle money for five women had been stolen when Sidmouth Town Football Club was burgled in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Laura, aged 49, of Church Street, who is organising an evening of entertainment at the football club in March to buy a special treat for each of the cancer patients, will double her efforts and start again with her fundraising.
She said: “Four of them don’t want any charity. What I was going to do was to buy four spa days at the Harbour Hotel and pop them through their door, as a little something for them to cheer them up. They are going through enough.
“The other one is getting married in September and it was to help towards their wedding.
“They have all got secondary cancer. They can control it, but it’s incurable. It’s a very sad situation made even sadder by the act of some selfish person.”
The culprit smashed a window and took a crowbar to a door to force entry to the club, said Laura.
CCTV images from cameras at the club, in Manstone Lane, show a figure wearing a headtorch, she added.
Once inside, they stole the cash intended for the young mums with incurable cancer, and other charity boxes left on the bar.
The money raised by Laura was around £190, she said.
A JustGiving page has been set up to replace stolen funds, with the aim of raising £500.
Laura, who annually hosts a charity event to benefit others, said: “I had cancer myself four years ago, I didn’t tell anybody about it – they whipped out my kidney.
“I feel I need to be helping other people, not just with cancer.”
She added: “You try and do something good but there’s always someone trying to drag it down in some way. It’s a shame we can’t all stand together and all help each other.
“I would like to say to whoever did this, shame on you. I hope your sister, mother, grandmother – anybody in his family – don’t suffer with want I am trying to raise money for.
“But it’s his conscience he’s got to live with at the end of the day.”
Devon and Cornwall Police said officers were aware of reports of a burglary with intent to steal on Saturday, February 22, between 2am and 3am, at Sidmouth Town AFC Supporters Club.
Police want to hear from anyone with information about the break-in.
A police spokeswoman said: “A person is believed to have forced entry to the premises and cash was taken from the collection and charity boxes.”
Tickets for Laura’s charity evening on Friday March 13, at Sidmouth Town Football Club, are £18, to include a buffet, glass of Prosecco, disco, plus entertainment from drag act, Ruby Slippers, from Wales.
Last year Laura raised £600 for Charlotte’s ‘Little Something’ Fund, raising money for perinatal mental health for Devon Partnership NHS Trust.
To donate to the crowdfund, see here.