Kind-hearted readers have more than tripled the charity sponsorship money that was stolen from a disabled woman’s Chester home.
People in the city reacted with shock and disbelief two weeks ago when The Chronicle ran the story of wheelchair-bound Angela Underhill, who was left terrified after a thief broke into her Hoole home and stole the £240 she had raised from taking part in Race for Life the day before.
Angela, 51, who has multiple sclerosis, had to cower in her bathroom as the intruder rifled through her purse before fleeing through the front door.
When Angela’s carer Mark Rushan, who had only popped out to the shop for 10 minutes, returned, they discovered more than £300 had been taken altogether.
Already exhausted from the gruelling 5k event which she did at the specially wheelchair accessible Birkenhead Park, Angela has since struggled to sleep since the incident on July 23.
But some generous Chronicle readers have managed to lift her spirits by donating money to the cancer charity she had raised funds for – bringing the grand total of sponsorship, which includes gift-aid, to £1,200.
One man was so touched at Angela’s story that he anonymously delivered an envelope containing £300 to the Chronicle office this week, while a collection by the congregation at Angela’s church, All Saints in Hoole, has raised more than £400.
The former chef, whose illness means she is unable to work, said she has been ‘overwhelmed’ with people’s kindness.
“It’s just absolutely incredible. Never in a million years did I imagine people would donate more than 10 times the amount of money I originally raised.
“This type of thing really does restore your faith in humanity; after such a horrible thing to happen, there has been some positivity to take from it,” she said.
“Everyone has been so good to me.
“The man who gave me £300 left me such a wonderful, sincere note that it made me cry.
“I just wish I could thank him personally. The gratitude of people like that makes everything seem worthwhile.
“Also The Housing Association have changed my locks free of charge, the police have just been so sensitive and brilliant - everyone in general have just been incredible and I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone.”
Angela is already planning her next charity feat - a parachute jump next year, which will raise money for a street pastors charity and The Ethiopia Fund.
But this time she won’t be keeping hold of her sponsorship money.
“I’m not letting this incident put me off doing other charity events, I like to do one project a year for charity, but I won’t be putting myself in that vulnerable position again.
“This time the money I raise will be done through the charity.”
Cheshire police are currently still investigating the theft.