A MYSTERY donor helped soften the blow of a shocking break-in at a new charity shop in Royton.
The man, who didn’t wish to be named, gave £500 to Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice after thieves raided the Oldham Road premises within a day of its opening.
“Fortunately, we managed to turn a negative into a positive,” said general manager Kirsty Franks.
“The man lives near the hospice and works in Oldham. When he heard about the break-in he came in and gave us a cheque for £500.
“It was a great gesture and we have also had a lot of support from the local community.”
Forget Me Not took over Grace’s Place in Bury last year.
After reaching its first fundraising target at Christmas, the charity is already offering a Hospice at Home service to some of the 650 children with life-shortening conditions and their families in Bury, Rochdale and Oldham.
Forget Me Not plans to open the children’s hospice on Dumers Lane for in-house and overnight care in October 2018.
The burglary took place following a successful opening event of games, Easter-themed events and pop-up tea shop on March 31, attended by many local families and residents.
The raiders vandalised the retail unit – formerly a petrol station – by smashing glass windows and doors, damaging internal fire doors and pulling apart the till area.
They ripped the safe off the wall and stole approximately £500 of takings and the float money.
Staff and volunteers rallied together on Easter Sunday to help tidy and fix the shop so they could open as planned on April 2.
Kirsty added: “Understandably we’re all shaken up by the break-in.
“The team worked so hard to put on a really fun opening event, and it’s heart-breaking that the weekend, which was supposed to be a celebration and bring local people together, was ruined in this way.
“But I’m extremely proud of our staff and volunteers for pulling together to make sure we could open as planned.
“More than ever though we need the support from the local community.
“As well as donating quality, unwanted items such as clothes, books, toys, household items and furniture, we’re asking people to please stop by our new shop to take a look and buy some of the great stock we have.
“We need to raise as much money as possible to help the children and families in North Manchester who need our care and support.
“The break-in was a step back, but I’m confident with the continued support of our staff, volunteers, fundraisers and community we’ll be able to get back on track.”
Visit the shop at 36 Oldham Road, Royton OL2 5PE.