Anger over poppy theft

POLICE have been brought in to investigate the disappearance of a poppy appeal collection from a sheltered housing scheme.The Royal British Legion and managers of Cherryfields in Gippingstone Road, Bramford, reported the missing collection after it disappeared from the complex during the week.

POLICE have been brought in to investigate the disappearance of a poppy appeal collection from a sheltered housing scheme.

The Royal British Legion and managers of Cherryfields in Gippingstone Road, Bramford, reported the missing collection after it disappeared from the complex during the week.

At first it was thought the collection, thought to have contained between £40 and £70, had been stolen, then some residents thought it could have been stored for safe keeping by a fellow resident - and forgotten about.

But managers of the centre, which also has places for respite care, are now convinced cruel thieves have run off with funds which would have gone to veterans and their families who are desperately in need.

The collection tin was left in the reception area of Cherryfields for several days and residents and visitors had purchased poppies and left donations.

On Tuesday staff noticed it had gone missing. It is thought the tin was nabbed when the centre was open for bingo last Saturday evening.

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Julie Anderson, team leader at Cherryfields, said: “We've looked everywhere. We're convinced it has been taken.

“It's rather hard to believe someone would do that. Most of the people in this building are older people and they have empathy for people who fought in the wars so I don't think it would have been one of them.”

Bramford's Poppy Appeal organisers have been left infuriated by the theft. They say while it is a relatively small amount of money it could have made a difference to the life of a serviceman or woman who badly needed it.

William Yallop, the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal organiser for Bramford and district, said: “It is despicable. I just can't imagine the mentality of someone who would do that.

“This money helps people that we've got in Iraq and Afghanistan. They're coming back injured and dead and they and their families need all the help they can get.”

But a determined Mr Yallop, a former territorial army man who lives in Kirby Close, in the California area of Ipswich, vowed the branch would not be deterred from collecting money for those who need it.

The 64-year-old said: “Sometimes it makes you wonder whether it's worthwhile raising money but these people are not going to beat us.”

Last year the Bramford division collected £1,500 for the Poppy Appeal.

Suffolk police are treating the disappearance of the money as a theft. Anyone with information about the missing money should call Pc Kerry Rumbellow at Stowmarket police station on 01473 613500.

WEBLINK

www.poppy.org

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