Heartless thieves steal raffle prizes donated to boost Bedford charity fundraiser

Debbie Burrells
Debbie Burrells

Heartless thieves put a damper on a charity event - stealing raffle prizes donated to boost funds for Motor Neurone Disease.

The event, a three-mile riverside walk, was hosted by Debbie Burrells, who was disagnosed with MND last year.

The group outside The Swan hotel

The group outside The Swan hotel

Called Debbie’s Charity Walk, it was held alongside Bedford Embankment yesterday (April 8), with volunteers donating a number of raffle prizes.

Debbie, who supported the walkers in her wheelchair, said: “We had a great turnout with about 70 people including children and dogs, supporting us.

“We had a lovely walk around the river, we saw some little ducklings which the children loved.

“Once back at the Swan hotel though, I realised something was wrong.

A large group joined Debbie's Charity Walk on Sunday

A large group joined Debbie's Charity Walk on Sunday

“Some thieves had been in and stole some wonderful raffle prizes including a £50 M&S voucher. We couldn’t believe it.

“But as I sat there fighting back the tears I decided not to let this spoil the event and allow these thieves to break our daisy chain.

“I want to remember the day as fantastic with lovely memories, thanks to the kindness of the people who took part.

“They made up for what we lost.”

She added: “These thieves are not representative of the good-hearted people of Bedford who have given so generously.

“We made £700 from the raffle but expect to raise a total of £2,000.

Debbie, a member of the family which runs Kitcheners Marina and Garage, in Kempston, launched the DaisyChain fight-back fund to do her bit for MND charity. She has already organised a garden party, a glamorous cruise night, sponsored silence and encouraged her nieces and nephews to sell sweets for charity.

And on Saturday, April 20, Nick Kier and Debbie’s brother Rob and friends, are staging a 150-relay around the Bedfordshire border culminating in a five-mile fun run in a county estate at Picts Hill House, Turvey.

Called the Bashing The Beds Boundary, the event aims to attract top-trained corporate teams who will run relays overnight.

If you would like to support the charity or make a donation visit daisychain.muchloved.com/fundraising/events/86499723.