Appeal after Budleigh festival cash bucket is taken

Budleigh Salterton in summertime. Ref exb 32-16AW 3511. Picture: Alex Walton.

Budleigh Salterton in summertime. Ref exb 32-16AW 3511. Picture: Alex Walton. - Credit: Archant

Organisers of an annual community event in Budleigh Salterton are pleading for the return of vital donations which disappeared at the weekend.

A bucket containing around £200 in donations went missing during the third annual Budleigh Food Festival, prompting concern from volunteers and organisers.

The bucket, believed to be full with donations, disappeared during a performance by entertainer ‘Nutty Noah’ for children.

The donations, collected after the performance, contribute towards the £23,000 costs of putting the festival on every year and director Trudie Burne said unless the money is returned, more fundraisers may have to be put on to pay for next year’s festival.

She said: “It was gutting because it takes two years to put that event on – it was just a bit of a downer.

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“Everyone involved in organising the event volunteers their time to carefully plan and organise the event for our community, so every penny is needed and goes towards all the top entertainment, the hire of the Green, Public Hall and marquees.

“We are hoping someone is keeping this safe for us and that we will get it back. We are a not-for-profit organisation and every penny helps us put on this great community event.”

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Town mayor Chris Kitson also hopes the money is returned but has concerns about the possible ‘criminality’ of the incident.

He said: “If it has been stolen that is very disappointing.

“It’s a very sorry situation if someone feels they have to steal money from a good cause.

“I hope they have a tinge of conscience to return it.

“If someone has seen fit to steal that money then that’s a pretty poor reflection.”

Trudie added that if someone did want to return the money they can get in contact with the festival team or the police community support officer Chantalle Major.

Alternatively they can return the money anonymously to the Public Hall or Bradleys Estate Agents, High Street.

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