Community rallies after thieves steal collection box

A DENTIST and her daughter have thanked their local community after they rallied round to replace charity donations stolen by thieves.
Freya Harris (16) and her mum Nikki were raising money to buy toothbrushes for a charity volunteering trip to Cambodia.  The pair are travelling to Cambodia on June 30 with the international charity Dentaid and will be part of a team providing emergency dental treatment for poor and remote communities who have no other access to dental care.
Freya had set up an honesty stall at the bottom of the family’s driveway in Whimple. She used it to sell plants, produce and flowers and had raised about £800 towards to cost of her trip in the last year.
However, last Saturday (June 9) thieves stole the contents of the donation box that would have been spent on the charity trip.
“It was very disappointing that someone prised open the cash box from the stall and stole the money,” said Mrs Harris. “There wasn’t much money in it at the time but it was all going to be used to buy extra toothbrushes and items for the children we will be treating in Cambodia.”

On Sunday, Mrs Harris posted details of the theft on Facebook and within minutes kind-hearted local businesses were offering to replace the donations. “It was incredible,” said Mrs Harris. “The local pub, Thirsty Farmer is going to host a quiz night to raise funds and the Cranbrook pharmacy has kindly offered to give us over 100 toothbrushes that we can take with us.  We’ve also had many other messages from local people who want to support us. We’re very grateful and it does restore your faith in people.”
The Dentaid team of volunteer dental professionals will spend 2 weeks in Cambodia running outreach clinics for adults and children in the capital Phnom Penh and remote communities.  Many low income families in Cambodia are not able to afford dental treatment and decay rates among children are extremely high.  The team will provide free pain-relieving dental treatment and oral health programmes for hundreds of people.  Freya who has just completed her GCSE’s said: “I am nervous and excited to be part of the team and hope to leave a legacy, enabling change in some people’s lives.  We want to help them out of dental pain and provide education to prevent future problems with their teeth.”
If you would like to donate toward the pair’s volunteering trip to Cambodia please visit
https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/nicolaharris2