Halloween charity pot stolen from garden fundraiser in Woodley

  • By Daisy Stephens
  • BBC News

source image, Ronnie Goodberry

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The garden raises money for BIBS, a special childcare charity

A man who decorated his garden on Halloween to raise money for charity said he was left “gutted” after the collection pot was stolen.

Ronnie Goodberry, 63, is setting up the display in his garden in Woodley, Berkshire, to raise money for the special baby care unit at the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) in Reading.

Around £70 was taken on Saturday but has since been replenished by well-wishers on Facebook.

The police are appealing for information.

Mr Goodberry builds the Halloween garden every year, each time for a different charity.

source image, Ronnie Goodberry

image caption,

Mr Goodberry said he was “gutted” when he realized what had happened

This year’s cause was Babies in Buscot Support (BIBS). Buscot Ward is the special care unit for children at the RBH.

It offers information and support to families with premature or sick babies, as well as funding life-saving technology such as incubators and resuscitation equipment.

The hall cared for two of Mr Goodberry’s grandchildren two decades ago, including one who died – something he said made this year’s exhibition “even more moving”.

He said Saturday, four days after the garden opened to the public, was such a busy evening that no one saw the charity collection pot disappear.

Mr Goodberry said he was “gutted” when he realized the money had been stolen.

“It took 12 days of hard work to get it up and running,” he said.

“In two seconds flat, someone destroyed it.”

source image, Ronnie Goodberry

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Mr. Goodberry did not let the theft dampen his spirits

He said that BIBS does not receive any support from the government and they desperately need donations like this.

The person who stole the money is “the lowest of the low,” he added.

But Mr Goodberry posted about the theft on Facebook, resulting in an influx of donations covering the stolen money.

And he didn’t let the incident dampen his spirits.

“We’re up and running again,” he said, adding, “You just have to keep going.”

“If you [complain]then they won,” he said.

“They refuse to let me win.”

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