A north-east garden centre has appealed for information after the “despicable” theft of a charity tin.
The tin, which was collecting money for children’s charity Charlie House, was taken from the restaurant at Inverurie Garden Centre on the Oldmeldrum road on Sunday, some time between 2.30 and 3.30pm.
Constable James Stewart, Garioch community police officer, said: “This is a despicable act at any time of the year, but particularly during the festive period.”
Simon Robertson, catering manager of the Inverurie Garden Centre, said: “We are heartbroken about this theft as the idea of a charity tin being stolen and the impact the money would have is soul-destroying as it affects Charlie House directly.
“We have worked with them for some time so it is upsetting for all of us and the fact it is the customers’ donated money as well makes it worse.
“After announcing it online we have had quite a lot of support from people who want to help out and donate money. Out of something bad, a lot of attention has been brought to this charity and it has gained a lot traction so thanks to everyone who has supported us.”
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The tin was collecting funds for Charlie House, which supports children and young people with complex disabilities and/or life-limiting conditions.
The charity is currently a year into its Big Build Appeal, which aims to raise £8 million towards building and maintaining a new specialist support centre.
Susan Crighton, director of fundraising for Charlie House said: “This is so disappointing to hear. Organisations like Inverurie Garden Centre raise wonderful amounts for us through collection cans being kindly displayed.
“Sadly, less funds means less support for local families who need it most, especially at this time of year.”