Parents distraught after thieves stole disabled daughter's charity box

Gazette Series: Three year old Charlotte Bottger with her dad James and mum Kate at their home in Slimbridge (7524146) Three year old Charlotte Bottger with her dad James and mum Kate at their home in Slimbridge (7524146)

THIEVES have stolen a charity box from a day nursery in Cam which was raising funds so one of its children can undergo an operation to make it possible for her to walk.

Three-year-old Charlotte Bottger has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and has been a member of Upper Knapp Farm Nursery since she was eight-months-old.

The nursery set out the charity box to help raise the £60,000 needed to fund the operation in America as well as the physiotherapy afterwards but this was stolen on Tuesday, June 10 along with a number of other items.

While they do not know how much was in the box, it had been at the nursery for around three weeks and Charlotte’s mother Katy, who is 34 weeks pregnant with her second child with husband James, 36, said they had been shocked and saddened by the crime.

“It just feels like a violation towards Charlotte,” said the 33-year-old nurse.

“It was just really sad that they felt ok to do that. We couldn’t believe that they wanted to pinch it. It just doesn’t make sense.

“You’re trying to achieve this for Charlotte and you hope the community is behind you, obviously someone didn’t feel very charitable.”

The Slimbridge family have set up a website to show Charlotte’s progress as well as various fundraising events that will be taking place, including a walk by nursery staff who will trek from Gloucester to Slimbridge on Saturday, August 2.

For more information about about Charlotte’s challenge, visit www.charlottesangels.co.uk

The early-hours burglary also saw £439 stolen as well as a laptop and a string of other unusual items, including two trays of eggs, 14 teaspoons, a block of cheese and a leg of lamb.

The alarm was raised when the milkman arrived at the building to make his delivery at about 4am and he noticed the door was open, according to nursery owner Leanne McCreight.

She told the Gazette she was cross and confused by the burglary.

“Why would they want to steal two trays of eggs and 14 spoons?” she said.

“It must have been someone who knows the layout very well because it is a bit of a maze here.”

If you have any information about this incident, call Gloucestershire police on 101.

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