Thieves have stolen a charity collection box destined to help cancer victims from a hairdressers in Burton.
Staff at Stretton Day Nursery and Salon 9, in Burton, have been left having to appeal for new donations after their collection tin was stolen just days ahead of a charity abseil to bolster the fund.
The nursery and the salon had managed to collect at least £200 in the tin for Cancer Research in memory of two friends, Alison Hadfield who worked at the nursery and her friend Louise Burns who was a hairdresser at Salon 9, who both died from cancer.
The charity box was on display inside Salon 9 in Wellington Street while the business was open on Friday, June 30, when it was stolen, say staff. They have since reported the incident to police. Now with just four days until the abseil on Sunday, July 9, staff, family and friends from Salon 9 have been left gutted by the theft.
The two venues had been hoping to add to the funds with two abseiling events. Salon 9 staff do theres on Sunday and nursery staff will follow suit by taking the plunge in August.
Kind-hearted staff at the salon and the Derby Road nursery had been individually fund-raising for many years for the charity, but recently decided to join forces in memory of two pals.
Alison known as “Allie” to her friends, died aged 32. She had been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver when she was just 15.
The nursery worker fell ill with splenic aneurysm in 2007. She had suffered a miscarriage in 2005 before her daughter, Katie, was stillborn the following year.
Unable to work full-time, the nursery begun an appeal to collect enough money to send Alison and her partner of 15 years, James Goulding, on the honeymoon of their dreams as they were due to marry.
Devastatingly, Alison died before being the wedding set for March 31, 2013.
Staff at the nursery have kept Alison’s memory alive by fund-raising for charities that meant a lot to her. They have included SANDS, which provides support for bereaved parents and their families, and East Midlands Air Ambulance.
Helen Eaton, manager of the nursery, said the team take part in fund-raising activities that are 'terrifying, as Alison knew how scared Helen was of heights.
she said: “When we started off fund-raising for Alison’s honeymoon, we abseiled the O2 in London.
“When I told her we were doing it, she laughed and said, ‘you won’t’.
“Alison can’t live her life, but we can, and we can help to find a cure through fund-raising.
“Now we’re abseiling at The Roaches near Leek. The nerves have already set in but our motto is ‘one life, live, learn and love’.
“It reflects our attitude to live life to the full.”
The nursery’s abseil is due to take place on Sunday, August 6.
The team joined forces with Salon 9, who were also fund-raising in memory of their colleague Louise Burns. Louise died from breast cancer aged 46 in May 2016.
Alison and Louise knew each other as Alison cared for Louise’s eldest son at the nursery.
Zoe Owen, who is manager at Salon 9 and Louise’s sister, has been left devastated after the theft of the collection box.
She said she recalls a suspicious-looking couple coming into the hairdressers and standing by the reception desk on the Friday.
One of the apprentices asked the couple if they were waiting to see a stylist. After receiving no response, the apprentice walked over to the stylist who she assumed was dealing with the couple to tell her that they were waiting to be seen.
The stylist informed her they were not her clients, and by the time the apprentice returned to the pair, they had disappeared. They later discovered the charity box was missing.
Zoe said: “If it’s your own money you’d feel bad because you’ve been robbed. But because it’s people’s money; regular clients that always come in and support us that have been kind enough to donate, I just felt sick to my stomach.”
The 46-year-old said the team still has funds raised from a JustGiving page, which they are hoping will increase in time for the charity abseil in honour of her sister.
Louise lost her battle with cancer on May 19, 2016, leaving behind two sons and her husband.
Without the help of Cancer Research, Zoe said her sister would have never had the extra four years of her life creating memories with her family.
She said: “We miss her beyond words but will continue to raise funds to help and support charities that one day will find a cure.
“We all know, unfortunately, too many people directly or indirectly affected by cancer and any donation will be gratefully received.”
To sponsor both teams on their charity abseil for Cancer Research UK, follow the link to their Just Giving page here.