An online retailer will deliver 150 toys to a charity which helps sick children and their families at St Mary’s Hospital in the latest act of kindness in an extraordinary story.
COSMIC (Children of St Mary’s Intensive Care) launched an appeal in November to raise £3,000 after thieves stole 150 presents it planned to give to kids over the festive season, as well as other items including Christmas decorations and a Santa suit.
Since then a remarkable £34,459 has been given to the charity, with the total exceeding £40,000 with gift aid included.
Online retailer Very.co.uk is replacing each of the stolen gifts with 150 new presents which will then be handed to the young patients at the children’s Christmas party on December 11.
A spokesman for the online shopping platform said it was disgusted by the crime and immediately contacted COSMIC with the offer of toys.
Tina Halton, play specialist at St Mary’s Hospital said: “We are overwhelmed by the messages of support we have received and the generosity that Very.co.uk has shown.
"We can’t wait to receive our special delivery of toys that we can gift to the children.
“It’s incredibly hard for both children and families to be in hospital, especially over Christmas.
"However, the toy delivery will help reignite the festive cheer that we try to create for families at this time of year.
“We know that the toys will be delightfully received by the children and will hopefully bring them some joy this Christmas.”
Kenyatte Nelson, group marketing director at Very.co.uk, said: “When we heard what happened at St Mary’s Hospital, we really wanted to do what we could to help the situation and support both the children and families this Christmas.
“Christmas is a time for giving, therefore we are delighted to send our own special gifts to St Mary’s Hospital.
"The joy of giving is something that we’ve communicated throughout the Very Christmas campaign this year.
“We truly believe in that sentiment, which is why we wanted to play a part in helping COSMIC’s appeal.
"The scale of the response from everyone has been fantastic.”
The break-in happened between October 3 and November 18, The toys and equipment were being stored on an unused ward at St Mary’s Hospital which COSMIC is aiming to transform into accommodation for families of critically ill children.
Among the items taken, but which have now been replaced following the huge amount donated to the COSMIC, were LED lights which are used for The Carols by Candlelight concert , which takes place on Monday (December 5) at St Matthew’s Church in Bayswater.
Westminster Police is investigating the thefts. Anyone with information can call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
To donate to the COSMIC click here .
Keep up to date with the latest news in west London via the free getwestlondon app.
You can even set it to receive push notifications for all the breaking news in your area.