An open letter to the person who burgled our Cheltenham charity shop

We often wonder what sort of person steals from a charity.

Your break-in at our Edinburgh Place shop in Cheltenham isn't the first story like this we've come across. Sadly, just last week someone broke in to our shop in Chorlton, Manchester too, and the effects were equally devastating for us, the people who work and volunteer in the shop and those in the local community who kindly help support our work.

The Playstation 2 that you stole had only been priced up on the morning you broke in, and we'd have sold it for £15. You can buy one on eBay (along with 31 games, including Guitar Hero 3 and wireless guitar - which is amazing) for £19 at the moment. Do you think it was worth it?

There's not only a financial cost to what you've done, but an emotional one too. We have a hospice just down the road from the shop you burgled - Leckhampton Court. Just in case you didn't know, we provide care there for people who are not going to get better.

Many of these people have cancer - some are with us because they are going to die, others just come for the day so we can help make their lives a little bit easier. We also help families piece themselves back together after they lose a loved one.

It's a privilege to be able to help the people we do, and we are only able to do this largely because of the things people donate to our shops. Shops like the one you broke in to. The damage you caused will cost the equivalent of a day's care for one of our patients - care that makes a massive difference.

We just wanted to let you know all this. The news of another burglary saddens us, but thankfully because of the generosity of local communities like those in Cheltenham, we'll still be here to provide care for people when they need it. And obviously we hope you never need us, but we'll be here for you too if that situation were ever to arise.

Thanks for reading.

Sue Ryder.

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Sue Ryder team