Community rallies round to support Charlie Cookson Foundation after shop targeted

Theives have been steeling goods from the Charlie and Carter Cookson Foundation. From left volunteer Kimberely Richardson, charity manager Joanne Nicholson and store manager Jacqueline Stidolph
Theives have been steeling goods from the Charlie and Carter Cookson Foundation. From left volunteer Kimberely Richardson, charity manager Joanne Nicholson and store manager Jacqueline Stidolph

A charity set up in the memory of two tragic brothers says it has been overwhelmed by the amount of support that has flooded in after it was targeted by shoplifters.

The Charlie Cookson Foundation, which was set up by Sarah and Chris Cookson to help families of seriously ill children, says its base in the Denmark Centre in Fowler Street, South Shields, has been targeted by a number of shoplifters in recent weeks.

Chris and Sarah Cookson set up the The Charlie Cookson Foundation.

Chris and Sarah Cookson set up the The Charlie Cookson Foundation.

Bosses believe £200 worth of items kindly donated to the cause have been stolen by callous thieves in 10 days –including curtains, a £100 coffee maker and even a tea set.

The foundation was set up as a lasting legacy to South Shields couple Chris and Sarah’s two sons, Charlie and Carter.

But charity manager Joanne Nicholson said they have been touched by the support of the community who have rallied round to donate items and offered to become volunteers.

She said: “Shields never disappoints, everyone is amazing and always comes together.

“We have had loads of messages of support from people.

“People have been saying they are going to bring stuff down to make up for what has been stolen.

“We have had so much support in a short space of time.”

Gazette readers have continued to show their support – and disgust at the shoplifters – by commenting on the Shields Gazette Facebook page;

Janice Chandler said: “So saddened by this story.”

Kelly Kennon commented: “Let’s all take a donation down. I know I will be.”

Denise Allen wrote: “Terrible.”

Graeme Fenwick added: “Disgraceful.”

Julez Rutter commented: “It’s absolutely awful.”

Geraldine Kilgour wrote: “Unbelievable.”

Mhairi Derby-Pitt said: Absolutely shocking.”

“So sorry to hear, it’s a lovely shop with such helpful pleasant staff.”

Melanie Weir added: “Shocking. Lowest of low.”

Kath Morrison write: “Shocking that people stoop so low.”