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Thief steals cash raised for disabled children

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A PRIMARY school teacher raising money for disabled children has had £400 of sponsorship money stolen from his home. Thieves took the cash after breaking in to Andrew Berry's house in Bower Lane, Maidstone.

Mr Berry, 31, a teacher at Madginford Park Junior School in Bearsted, said: "I am furious. It is a real setback for us."

Mr Berry and Phil Bonner, 30, a teacher at Allington Primary School, Maidstone, are attempting to raise £3,000 for Whizz Kidz, a charity providing wheelchairs and mobility units for disabled children.

They have held several fund-raising events already and have received donations from parents and pupils. He said: "We both work with kids all day and it seemed appropriate to do something that the children can relate to."

The pair had raised in excess of £1,000 when the thieves struck. Mr Berry had painstakingly counted the coins and notes the previous day and had stored them in the back of a cupboard.

He said: "I was probably going to bank it the following day. I think it was just opportunist and they struck lucky. I would hate to think it was anyone who knows about the money who broke in." The burglars also made off with a small amount of jewellery.

Children at Madginford Park have already rallied around to help recoup the money by organising cake sales and other events.

The men are also running in the London Marathon on Sunday, April 14, when they hope to raise £500 towards their total.

Anyone wishing to sponsor Mr Berry can write to him at 71 Bower Lane, Maidstone, Kent, ME16 8EH. Cheques can me made payable to Whizz Kidz.

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