Charity volunteers in South Shields have hit out at the ‘disgusting’ theft of a unique teddy bear which was to be raffled off to raise vital funds.
The bear – fashioned out of the clothes of ITV newsreader Pam Royle – was stolen from the Save The Children shop in Prince Edward Road, South Shields, on Tuesday.
It had been created as part of a project from the shop, which encouraged celebrities to donate items of clothing, which would then be used to make a memory bear to be raffled.
Pam was the first to come forward, but volunteers at Save The Children have been left devastated by the theft.
Emma Bailey, a volunteer at the shop at The Nook, said: “This is disgusting. I think it’s the lowest of the low to steal from a charity shop.
“This was the start of what we hoped would be a really big project to raise funds. We were hoping it was going to get bigger and bigger, but now it feels like the rug has been taken from under our feet.”
I think it’s the lowest of the low to steal from a charity shopEmma Bailey
After Pam donated the clothing, the bear was made by Emma’s friend Treena Marshall and had been on display for about two weeks when the theft took place.
The certificate of authentication was also taken.
Emma added: “I think their intention was to sell it on, which is why they must have taken the certificate.
“It’s a horrible feeling to think that someone could steal from a charity, let alone a raffle prize. The positive thing is though that we’ve had a big response since it happened, with people coming in to enter the raffle, just to donate really.”
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “Officers are keeping their eyes peeled for a missing teddy bear, after he was stolen from Save the Children charity shop in South Shields.
“The one of a kind bear was the star prize in a raffle aimed at raising money for the charity. Fashioned out of news presenter Pam Royle’s clothes, the bear donated to the charity had a definite sprinkle of stardust.
“The bear was stolen from the shop on Prince Edward Road on Tuesday, June 13. Neighbourhood officers are appealing for information to reunite him with his new would-be owners.
“Anyone who knows of his whereabouts is asked to contact police on 101 with the reference 277 14/06/17.”
The shop is hoping to continue the project with the support of other celebrities, and is asking for between three and five items of clothing to be donated per person.