Healthcare fundraisers have spoken of their dismay and disgust after thieves broke into the MRI scanner appeal collection stand at the Friarage Hospital.
The charity box was broken into on Saturday night (22 August) around 7.30pm during hospital visiting hours. South Tees Hospitals charity has now posted details about the theft on Facebook in an effort to identify those responsible.
Head of fundraising Paul Watkins said: “It’s so disappointing and such a shame to think that someone could be that desperate to steal from a charity, particularly one working with – and for – the local community to bring this essential piece of medical kit to the hospital.
“Since we launched the appeal in partnership with the Friends of the Friarage Hospital, we have been overwhelmed by the local support of the public and staff – this just makes me sick to my stomach.
“The collection box, which was outside the Friends shop, was secure and chained to the wall. We think up to £100 may have been taken and we have tightened up security since the theft.”
To date, over £1million has been pledged towards the MRI scanner appeal’s £2million target.
Mr Watkins added: “We’ve posted the details on Facebook just to see if anyone had information and also to ask people to keep sharing it – maybe it will shame them into doing the right thing and giving the money back although I doubt it!
Anyone interesting in supporting the appeal can donate online or contact the Friends of the Friarage Hospital on 01609 762013 or South Tees Hospitals Charity appeal office, telephone 01609 764936.