Fundraiser’s £1,000 stolen in burglary

Cyclist Claire Thomas hands over a cheque to Macmillan Cancer Support's Alan Barnsdale and Mick Hanson.
Cyclist Claire Thomas hands over a cheque to Macmillan Cancer Support's Alan Barnsdale and Mick Hanson.
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Cyclist Claire Thomas was devastated when burglars smashed into her Spalding home and robbed £1,000 in cash sponsor money she was due to bank that night.

She’d raised £2,325 for charity in memory of fellow Spalding Triathlon Club member Mike Barnsdale on an epic 40th birthday ride from Lands End to John o’ Groats.

But while she was out at work burglars smashed her glass back door, jemmied the window in the kitchen and dug out the cash and cheques after an extensive search.

Claire, business controller for Market Deeping firm Landis & Gyr, said: “I was shattered – they’d invaded my house and been over every inch of it – every cupboard, every drawer, they’d even looked in the freezer.

“They took electrical stuff and jewellery too, but the sponsor cash I’d hidden was obviously destined for charity, in the envelopes people had collected it in.

“The two cheques the burglars took have been re-issued, but my insurance only covered £700 of the cash.

“My employers had already matched the sponsor money I’d collected so I’d be able to give £2,325 each to Macmillan Cancer Support and to Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance, a vital resource for cyclists who are so vulnerable on our roads.

“Since the raid on my house I’m short £300 so I decided to make up the difference myself because people gave that money in good faith to charity and I can’t let that be taken away by a bunch of thieving toe-rags, it just wouldn’t be fair.”

On Friday Claire presented a cheque for the full sponsored amount to Macmillan Cancer Support while Alan Barnsdale, Mike’s brother, looked on.

Claire was thinking of a club cycle ride to Paris she’d done with Mike just six weeks before his death last August when she pedalled the length of the UK in July, taking 14 days to cover more than 1,000 miles.