“It seems incomprehensible anyone could stoop so low” – thoughtless thieves steal a van used to raise vital funds for EACH

Thieves have been branded “heartless” after stealing a van used to raise vital funds for a children’s hospice charity. The branded East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) vehicle was taken from a car park behind the organisation’s Clacton shop, in North Road.

It is used to collect and deliver furniture donations, as well as ferrying stock to EACH’s other North Essex stores in Colchester, Dovercourt and Halstead.

Over £60,000 a year is generated from the furniture collected and this money is used to support families and care for children and young people with life-threatening conditions.

EACH Chief Executive Phil Gormley said: “We were shocked and saddened when we discovered the van had been stolen on Monday night.

“Those responsible are, quite simply, heartless. It seems incomprehensible anyone could stoop so low, given what the van is used for. It’s a vital part of our daily operation and selling furniture is an important income stream for our Clacton shop.

“We feel a sense of burning injustice and would appeal to anyone to contact the police if they have any information. It’s heavily branded with our name and logo, unless already resprayed, so our hope is someone has seen it being driven around.”

The white Ford box van, which had a tail-lift, was parked behind the North Road shop, in the car park off Ravensdale. It was fitted with a tracking device which has since been disabled. The last activity suggests it was driven away shortly after 10.30pm.

“The only saving grace is that there was very little stock on board,” added Phil. “However, aside from the obvious loss of income, it’s caused an awful lot of distress and disruption this week.

“We plan to hire a replacement – an unwanted additional cost – but were unable to source one in time for Tuesday. That meant a whole day when we missed out and were unable to go about our usual business.

“It’s depressing to think anyone could be so thoughtless, doing something that directly affects a charity such as our own.”

The registration number of the van is FY63 OUM. EACH has reported the theft and contacted its insurers.

Anyone who saw anything, has CCTV, dash cam or doorbell footage should contact Essex Police. If you have information you can submit a report online at www.essex.police.uk or use the ‘Live Chat’ button to speak to an online operator between 10am-9pm, Monday to Friday. Quote the crime reference number 42/1733317/22.

You can also call Essex Police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Ends
The file picture below shows the van with drivers and sales assistants Simon Turner (left) and Paul Baboolall (right)

Notes to Editors

“We’d heard about EACH and knew they were a fantastic cause that had supported families we knew, but we never thought we’d be the ones that needed them! Sadly, as fantastic as it is, their service will always be required, and every child who needs their help deserves to have it.”

  • We care for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, and support their families.
  • We offer families flexibility and control over where they receive their care and support, including where their child dies – at home, in hospital or at one of three hospices at Milton (Cambridge), The Nook (Norfolk) and The Treehouse (Ipswich).
  • Our family-centred approach includes specialist nursing care, symptom management support, short breaks, wellbeing activities, therapies and counselling, all meeting the individual needs of the child, young person and whole family.
  • We are recognised as leaders in our field, with a reputation for excellence and commitment to pioneering development and innovation.
  • We rely on voluntary donations for the majority of our income and this year need to raise £5.5 million from fundraising and £5.4 million in income from our shops. The year before the pandemic we received just 16% of our total income from statutory sources.
  • EACH Royal Patron – Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge.
  • For more information about EACH, including forthcoming events and how you can help raise funds, visit www.each.org.uk or call the Norfolk fundraising office on 01508 500894.

Keep in touch:

www.each.org.uk
www.twitter.com/EACH_hospices
www.facebook.com/EACHhospices
www.instagram.com/eachhospices
www.linkedin.com/company/eachhospices

For further information about this release please contact:
Matt Plummer | Media and PR Manager | 07738 328058 | Matt.Plummer@each.org.uk

 

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