An open letter to the person who stole from Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice on Christmas Day

Sue Ryder news

An open letter to the person who stole from Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall on Christmas Day

To the person who took the donation box from Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.

We don’t know what drove you to steal from a charity or why you need the money. But we want you to know the money you took was given to us so we can provide care and support to people who are dying from conditions like cancer, heart failure or lung disease - and their family and friends.

The box you stole contained money which the families and friends of patients had generously donated to say thank you for the care their loved ones received; money which was meant to help fund the care we give to patients at the most difficult time of their lives.

At Christmas people often feel compelled to give more to charities like us. Which means there was more for you to take. And more for us to lose.

It’s not just the financial loss which has devastated our team here. There’s been a huge emotional impact too. Do you know why our doors were unlocked at 5.30am on Christmas Day? So the family of a patient who had just died could come in and say their final goodbyes.

We didn’t let your crime affect our Christmas Day. Santa still visited, the Salvation Army band played carols and we served a turkey dinner to patients and their families. It’s a privilege for us to be able to give people those festive memories to treasure. And it’s only possible for us to provide that care because of the money people donate to us – the money that you stole.

We just wanted to let you know all this. It saddens us that you felt driven to do what you did. But thankfully because of the generosity of local people, groups and businesses we’ll still be here to provide care for people when they need it. Obviously we hope you never need us but we’ll be here for you too if you do.

Thanks for reading,

Hospice director Allison Mann and the Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice team

More information

Make a donation to Thorpe Hall Hospice - you can select the hospice from the drop down menu at the bottom of the page.

Donate to Thorpe Hall

Find out more about Thorpe Hall Hospice.

Thorpe Hall


Add your comment



  • on 29/12/2017 15:58 Val McGrory said:

    I am a volunteer for this charity, I work in the Ramsbottom - Lancashire shop. Your open letter is heart rendering, and I doubt the thief would be bothered to read this, if they do, give it back if you haven't already spent it, you can leave it on the doorstep of any Sue Ryder shop and we will know it's you. I don't know what possessed this person, all I can say is it must have been an act of sheer desperation to stoop so low. I hope your conscience prickles you enough to do the decent thing and think about what this donations was intended for.

  • on 29/12/2017 19:11 Rob Bailey said:

    Sadly very little amazes me these days and even this sort of thing does not. I always try to see the good side of people but how can you ever consider that in this case? To the person who took the box I would say this: Even if you were very much down and on your luck, desperate for money, at this time of year there are volunteers working hard, just as volunteers give up their time for Sue Ryder, to help people like you. Could you not have sought help from their charity rather than blatantly steal from another? If you are ever caught and convicted (but It’s unlikely that you will be) I would suggest that you are not jailed but are required to do many hours of community service contributing to an organisation like Sue Ryder. It might just change the way in which you regard other people in the future but I somehow doubt it.

  • on 29/12/2017 20:33 Kelly said:

    This is saddening and so awful! You guys do such a fantastic job.

  • on 30/12/2017 00:31 Christopher marr said:

    Very sad to hear this.

  • on 30/12/2017 09:34 Richard Ford said:

    Sue Ryder brings comfort to many families in their darkest hours, I was saddened to hear that someone had stolen the donations - I only hope whoever took them needed it more but I doubt that very much. Having lost friends to cancer and one not so long ago who was supported at Thorpe Hall I know of the incredible work done there. I have subsequently made a small donation to help, if others do the same it may help fill the hole left.

  • on 30/12/2017 10:03 doug baker said:

    Xmas is time for giving not stealing

  • on 30/12/2017 11:06 Libby said:

    A well written letter. To have lost friends who spent time at Thorpe Hall and know of the beautiful care they receive both from paid staff and volunteers it saddens me deeply that some credit has done this. Get a job I say!! Thorpe Hall built a beautiful relaxing place with a bench for patients and their families to get away from the Hospice and relax peacefully in the grounds...only to be abused by junkies who left their rubbish all over the place. I used to go down regularly and clean it all up...but now the bench has been taken away... I guess because of the misuse it got. Maybe one day the thief will need the care of Thorpe Hall!!!!

  • on 30/12/2017 11:42 Nichole said:

    This makes me so sad, my wonderful Nanny spent the last 4 months of her life at this hospice and every single person made it so much easier for her and our family. Without the help and care we received she would have been in terrible pain till she left us but she wasn’t and that’s because of the dedication from people both inside the hospice and outside of it. I hope the person responsible reads this open letter and feels terrible!

  • on 30/12/2017 17:26 Janet casey said:

    Who ever took the money from theses poor people and from the carers who care for the sick should be mostly and utterly ashamed of them shelfs doing this have a bit of respect if not for yourself for the people who are suffering give the money back

  • on 30/12/2017 20:56 Keren said:

    I lost my mum today after a two week stay in a hospice very much like this one. The work the staff do here is invaluable and so selfless. Yes it’s their job but often staff go above and beyond. It is hear wrenching to read this letter and think that someone stooped so low and stole from such a charity. Let’s just hope that whoever you are that Neither you nor your loved ones will need the fantastic support of a hospice to care for you in your final days/hours because maybe the charity will no longer be able to offer such a service due to thriving scumbag low life’s like yourself stealing the donations which go towards making these outstanding facilities. Rant over!!!!!!

  • on 31/12/2017 16:32 A private individual said:

    I worry that the person who stole this needed the money more than we can understand. If they return it to Thorpe Hall then I will pay them back if this is the case. Thorpe Hall can get hold of me if needs be.

  • on 31/12/2017 17:28 Panda Miller said:

    Please remove this letter until you identify the so called thief. Due to cuts and santions and the weather somone might need it t help thier familly survive in a country that does not care. The termally ill would understand the vicctims of tory cuts need it more then a fancy show off xmas meal.

  • on 02/01/2018 12:59 Russ said:

    I hope you realize what a miserable low act you have committed

  • on 03/01/2018 20:24 June Pinner said:

    My heart goes out to think people can stoop so so low����there’s no excuse for this behaviour in this day .All hospices do brilliant jobs������������❤️��❤️����������

  • on 15/06/2018 19:31 jane hart said:

    No comment