Rainhearts come together and raise more than £2,500 to replace stolen community van
- Credit: Melissa Page
Rainham residents have come together to raise more than £2,500 to replace a stolen van belonging to a much loved member of the community.
The van belonging to Sue Ospreay, was used to help run a number of different clubs in the area, and was stolen last week.
Inside of the van along with speakers and costumes were several pieces of very sentimental jewellery, including Sue’s grandmother’s wedding rings, and a necklace that her parents had given to her when she was 21.
Sue, 56, of Farm Road, uses the van on a daily basis to run clubs including Lighnin Drama, Rainhearts Community Clean Up, R.A.V.E village fairs, RCWA (Reloaded Championship Wresting Alliance) along with helping with the annual remembrance service and summer and festive fairs.
She said that she was parked in St Judes Road in Bethnal Green on Sunday (September 9) as she had gone to support an up and coming wrestler from RCWA at their first show, but when she left at around 6pm and went to head back to her van she couldn’t find it.
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She then reported it to the police - who have said that no-one has been arrested and no suspect has been identified.
Sue said that she had been to a wedding the previous day, and because she was in a rush, rather than just putting the jewellery back inside her house, she stuffed it in the front of her car, not thinking twice about it.
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The van was fully packed because she had planned to go to rehearsals for Cinderella
The news that the jewellery and the van had been stolen spread like wildfire on social media, and within a few hours a Justgiving page had been set up.
Within a couple of days the page had raised hundreds of pounds, and Tesco Rainham had also started taking donations at the store in Bridge Road.
Sue said that she was ‘devastated’ when she realised the van had been stolen, and said that it is a lifeline to lots of people in the village.
A new van would cost in the region of around £8,000 and so far the online page has raised £2,571.
Sue - who is a members of the ‘Rainhearts’ herself said that she was felt quite emotional when she found out that people were raising money for her, and said: “It is really lovely, and makes you realise that people do care about everything that you do.
“The Rainhearts are great, and we always try to help others in need.
“At times like this you feel a bit unloved, but people have said come on lets make something happen, which is lovely.
“I’m feeling especially taken back by the young boys from the wrestling.
“I’ve sometimes thought why am I involved with these lunatics who throw themselves around a ring, but they have been fantastic and have been throwing money at it like nothing else.
“The thing I was most choked about was the jewellery, it was just stupidity on my behalf, because I should have just put it back in the house but I was in a rush and wasn’t thinking. “This is a horrible thing that has happened but this shows that there are so many more good people in the world than bad people.”
Lyn Fuller, chair of Rainham Village Fayres said: “The van is her lifeline to all the wonderful things she is a part of in Rainham, and we the Rainhearts are busily donating towards a new van as we all know insurance companies do not always give the full value of insured vehicles.”
To donate to the help to try and raise enough for a new van for Sue and all the clubs she runs go to the online Justgiving page.