Donations for children in African orphanage stolen in Seven Kings

Charity donations for an orphanage in Africa were stolen from a Seven Kings street on Tuesday night.

Children’s bicycles, toys, clothes and food were in a trailer taken from a home in South Park Drive.

Dr David Cairns, 78, and his wife Beryl collect donations for the Falconer Trust, which supports the children’s home in Kabulamema, Zambia.

The charity named after Lilias Falconer, who set up the orphanage in 1947.

She travelled to Africa as a nurse with the Salvation Army and worked in a leper hospital in Chitokoloki.

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When she saw babies being left to die after their mothers died in childbirth, she began taking them in, and established the home in Kabulamema with six children.

Her children now run the orphanage, which has 25 members of staff caring for more than 100 children.

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Dr Cairns was shocked by the theft.

He said: “Everything was fine at 9.30 in the evening and when we looked in the morning it was gone.

“It was about half full. For the moment we will have to put things in the garage but I’m not sure if we’ve got enough space.”

The Falconer Trust was set up by Goodmayes residents Henry and Irene Webb in 1980.

They ran the charity from their home in Meldrum Road until they passed away in 2010, when friends the Cairns took over.

Son Ken Webb now runs the charity from his home in Norfolk.

He collects the donations from Seven Kings when the trailer is nearly full to have them delivered to the orphanage.

He said: “In terms of monetary value, the trailer being taken has probably cost us about �1,000 but everything in there are things the children won’t get now.

“The thieves must have known what it was for because the charity logo is all over both sides.”

The trailer is described as white, with the Falconer Trust logo written on both sides in green, and around 7ft by 4ft by 6ft.

Call Redbridge Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 with information.

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