A charity fundraiser has been left “appalled” after money he was collecting in preparation for a skydive was stolen.
Steven Boast, who works at Sudbury’s Kingfisher Leisure Centre, signed up for the tandem jump for Cancer Research UK after his mother twice battled back from the illness.
The 20-year-old had placed a collection tin on the reception desk where he works but discovered on Friday that it had been taken.
“I am really disappointed and could not believe that someone would take something like this as it is such a worthy cause,” said Mr Boast, from Corona Court in Acton.
“Cancer is an insufferable disease and I am appalled this has happened.”
Mr Boast said the collection tin had been on the counter for more than a month and he estimated it contained around £80.
It is thought the money was taken on Thursday evening or at some point during Friday. Police are checking CCTV outside the centre in the hope of catching the culprit.
“Cancer has personally affected my family – my mum has beaten cancer twice but it is such a struggle and emotionally draining,” said Mr Boast.
“This is why I chose to undertake a skydive as I wanted to raise money in a physically and emotionally challenging activity in tribute to the struggle faced by cancer sufferers.
“It also symbolises the powerlessness people can feel when they have cancer.”
Mr Boast, who regularly volunteers at Race for Life, said the money could have been put towards finding a cure for cancer. He is planning to recoup the lost funds from his own pocket.
“I feel really bad for the people who have donated to my cause – I will be making up the money from my wages,” he said.
“All the staff here are shocked and disgusted about this and I hope whoever did this will feel guilty and return the money.”
Despite the loss of the funds, Mr Boast said he would not let the setback taint the experience of his first skydive, which will take place at Beccles Airfield on April 5.
Anyone with information about the missing money should contact police on 101. To sponsor Mr Boast, go to www.justgiving.com/steven-boast-tandem-skydive.