A Mansfield couple helping to raise money towards a terminally ill boy’s trip of a lifetime have spoken of their anger after thieves stole their fast-food van complete with charity collection box.
Graham Shaw and his partner Mary-Ellen O’Driscoll lost three weeks of donations and their livelihood when their burger van Spot On Snacks was stolen on Monday night.
The couple had been recruited as the caterers for a future fundraiser to help pay for Kayleb Godfrey trip and were also due to donate a proportion of their sales from the day.
In the meantime they had started a collection towards the fund leading up to the September event.
“We are so angry and upset by what’s happened,” said Graham. “We had been collecting for about three weeks and the tin was getting heavy.
“It is just not on - we were trying to do something for Kayleb which would be the experience of a lifetime.”
Mary, who bought the van with her life savings, said they had also lost about £10,000 worth of equipment during the theft.
“We are really annoyed because this is obviously someone who has been watching us,” added Mary, of Shaftsbury Avenue, Mansfield. “We thought we could look forward to using the van for many years to come, even into retirement.”
Seven-year-old Kayleb, of Mansfield, was born with Cerebral Palsy, global development delay and chronic liver disease. His family decided to organise the trip after doctors took him off the liver transplant list and put him on an end of life plan.
His grandfather, Nigel Millband (43), of Wilson Street, Mansfield, said: “It annoys me that someone has taken a person’s livelihood and stolen from a vulnerable child.
“How could they could stoop so low and steal from someone who cannot defend himself. Kayleb only has weeks or maybe months left - it is just not fair.”
A Nottinghamshire Police spokesman said they had been called out to a report of a theft at Millenium Business Park between 11.30pm-6.15am on Monday night. Their investigations are ongoing.
The fundraiser, which will include an indoor car boot, auction and fun day, will be held at The Towers on Botany Avenue, on Sunday 15th September.
Any money raised above the amount needed for Kaleb’s trip will be donated between Rainbows Hospice, where Kayleb receives respite care, the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation and Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Organisers are now appealing for another caterer who can help on the day, which begins at noon.
To make a donation visit www.gofundme.com/3qd4s4. For more information contact Nigel on 07951448211.