Generosity of Ilkley folk after theft of cash for MS sufferer 'restores faith in humanity'

Generosity of Ilkley folk after theft of cash for MS sufferer 'restores faith in humanity'

Young fundraiser Ella with Stazione cafe manager Max

Ella fundraising by playing outside Stazione at Ilkley train station

First published in Local news by

A CAFE has succeeded in raising £1,000 to replace donations stolen from the shop last month.

Staff at La Stazione coffee shop in Station Plaza were saddened when the collection box was stolen from the counter of the shop,

The donations were being collected for a local mum who is battling Multiple Sclerosis.

But customers and passers-by have rallied in an effort to replace the stolen money.

Cafe regular, Stuart Tolch, offered a reward to anyone who can provide information which will lead to the conviction of the person who carried out the crime. His seven-year-old daughter made and sold loom bands, raising £40 for the appeal.

And young trumpeter, Ella Hammond, busked outside of the cafe, with a sign telling the many visitors passing through the station building what she was raising money for.

Cafe manager, Max Crane, says the generosity of customers and passers-by has now meant the total raised before the theft has now been matched.

He said: "It's a fantastic community response, it's been a really wonderful thing to come out of something so negative."

Stuart Tolch, whose seven-year-old daughter Eleanor came up with the idea of selling loom bands for the charity fund, added: "It restores your faith in human nature.

"I am absolutely thrilled, I really am, it shows the generosity of the local community and all of the regulars that come into the cafe. Not only that, people that have read the notices we have put up and wanted to give generously. Ilkley Brewery gave £200 and didn't ask for anything in return. That is amazing that they have given back into the local community.

"My daughter wanted to help - she came up with the idea of making and selling loom bands and she sold 50. There was another little girl who played a trumpet outside the cafe for two hours and that made your heart melt - it was lovely.

A lady who goes in to the shop, Margaret and her husband, donated loom bands so Eleanor could make more - so everyone has done their bit in different ways."

"It restores your faith in humanity."

Mr Tolch, who offered a reward for information which might lead to the conviction of the thief said unfortunately no one had come forward.

"We haven't had word from anyone or the police, but you never know.

"Hopefully justice will prevail, but as time passes it is probably becoming more unlikely."

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