Devastation as burglar steals cash for children

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The chairman of a school fund-raising group has spoken of her devastation after burglars stole thousands of pounds raised to support local children.

Jo Siddall, who is the chairman of Staining Primary School parent-teacher association and is involved in Staining Football Club, was distraught to find more than £2,500 of fund-raising cash had been taken from her home on Mill Lane, Staining.

And to make matters worse, her house insurance only covers £500 for loss of cash.

Mrs Siddall, a paramedic, believes burglars broke into her home through the back door before getting away with £1,200 raised at a Christmas fair to go towards replacing the school trim trail, £980 of the football club’s money to pay for the Christmas party and new training jackets and £480 of netball subs.

The 44-year-old mum said: “I’m so angry because it’s not my money. We are a very small village and we don’t have a lot of revenue. It’s just devastating.

“Staining School’s trim trail was condemned last year so our main fund-raising push has been to raise £20,000 to buy a new one.

“We had a Christmas market in school which was really successful and I had all that money and cheques to take to the bank.

“We have got the Christmas party for the kids at Vida PlayFootball on Garstang Road West next week so I had the money to pay for that and the new training jackets.

“I was going on Thursday to do all that.

“Now I’m going to have to ask the treasurer of the football club to borrow money for the Christmas party.”

It is thought the house was broken into sometime between 8.45am and 3.45pm on Wednesday.

Mrs Siddall’s 13-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter had returned home from school to find the back door lock on the floor.

But they thought the door had been damaged due to the recent bad weather and it was only when Mrs Siddall asked her husband where he had put the £20 she had left by the television, that they realised something was wrong.

Mrs Siddall added: “The house wasn’t ransacked, there was nothing out of place.

“All the money was in different places, it wasn’t visible so they would have had to have searched for it.

“The house was tidy but I noticed £20 was missing and some baskets in the kitchen, which contained a plastic box with the school’s money in, looked like they’d been moved.

“I just had a feeling in my stomach.”

It is thought a red Manchester United bag was taken from the home to carry the loot.

Lancashire Police confirmed it had received a report of the burglary and inquiries are ongoing.

A spokesman said: “Officers have attended and inquiries are ongoing. They are seeing what forensics they can get. If anyone saw anything suspicious in the area between 8.45am and 3.45pm on Wednesday, we would urge you to get in touch by calling 
101.”

Anyone who wishes to donate to the school’s trim trail fund can text nutt23 with an amount (£1,£2,£3,£4,£5 or £10) to 70070.