Woman ‘devastated’ after children’s charity box stolen

Jenny Harwood and Debra Blakely at Bosun Cafe in Worthing SUS-150912-154300001
Jenny Harwood and Debra Blakely at Bosun Cafe in Worthing SUS-150912-154300001

Owner of Bosun’s Café in West Buildings, Worthing said she cannot believe someone could ‘stoop so low’ and steal £400 from a children’s charity.

A red charity box collecting donations for ‘Kids in Kenya’ is believed to have been stolen sometime between 2pm on Wednesday, December 2, and 2pm on Thursday, December 3, according to Sussex Police.

Jenny Harwood has been running Bosun’s Café for 15 years, she said: “I just keep blaming myself. I am so cut up about it.”

The money raised was to help towards sending Jenny and her 14-year-old daughter, Saffron, to Kenya to build classrooms in a small village.

When the opportunity arose for the mother and daughter to go, they made Christmas gifts, held raffles and set up an online donation page to try and reach their £2,000 goal.

“I feel like I’ve let my daughter down and our customers have been so generous – I feel like I’ve let them down too,” she said.

The money would have been used to fly the two out to Kenya, along with funding food, building materials, shower blocks and beds for children at a nursery based in Mtwapa, near Mombasa.

Jenny is also collecting clothes to take with her and give to children and adults.

“It was going to be the chance of a lifetime for a 14-year-old girl. It was going to be such an eye opening experience for her and something we got to do together,” she said.

Since the incident, the team at Bosun’s Café have been adding their tips to the collection box, and Saffron, who helps her mum at the cafe, has donated half of her wages.

“It’s helping little ones who have got nothing. We’re saving clothes for them and little things like bags of sweets that are going to make a child smile.”

Kids in Kenya is a charity started by Dave and Daisy Cox, of Park Road, in 2010. The couple stayed at the Kikambala village and witnessed firsthand the terrible conditions children were living in.

Dave said: “It puts a downer on someone who wants to make a difference, and some low life comes along and takes the charity box.”

Jenny and Saffron have never been abroad together and still hope to make that dream become a reality.

If you would like to help them out, click here

To read our previous story on Kids in Kenya and learn more about the charity, click here

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