AN incredible response after St Richard's was broken into has ensured the hospice can afford to replace stolen gardening items.

In less than 24 hours people have kindly donated enough money to cover the £3,400 cost of the items stolen from the hospice on Wildwood Drive.

Callous thieves ripped out fences and chopped down trees to steal thousands of pounds of gardening equipment from St Richard's Hospice.

The hospice's chief executive Mark Jackson has called the theft "despicable" after a ride-on lawn tractor and mower and strimmer were taken in an overnight break in discovered by staff on Friday (July 29).

But kind-hearted supporters, including Tom Horton who set up a Just Giving page, quickly pulled together and managed to cover the costs for the hospice.

The hospice thanked supporters saying: "A huge thank you to our supporters and local community for your fantastic response after hearing about the theft of £3,400 worth of gardening equipment from our hospice grounds.

"You have so kindly rallied round, made offers of help and given generous donations which have now covered the cost of replacing the stolen equipment.

"Any further donations will help towards the on-going upkeep of these tranquil gardens and for extra security to be put in place.

"As a charity we rely on donations to fund the majority of our free care and truly appreciate the support we have received."

Police are investigating the theft of the Mountfield model M5-4000TH ride-on mower, Honda strimmer and brushcutter and Mowerland petrol lawn mower.

Mr Horton, who was one of those who set up a donation page, said: "I am totally overwhelmed by the response to my JustGiving page.

"I can’t thank people enough for their generosity, and I am so pleased that St Richard’s will be able to replace their stolen garden equipment and get back on track quickly."

Anyone with information about the theft should call the non-emergency police number on 101 quoting reference number 0392S 290716.

The Just Giving page can be found at