A COMPANY boss who was saddened to hear a charity which helps young people with cancer had been hit by crooks has raised more than enough money to plug the hole left by the thieves.

About £1,000 was taken from the Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation when seven collections tins were taken during two raids.

The first incident happened on July 15 at Lexden Rackets and Fitness Club, Colchester, when it is thought a man entered the building through the roof before stealing the box.

Six more were taken from Swinton Insurance, in Head Street, Colchester, following a break-in on Tuesday night.

After reading the news in the Gazette, Ben Green, co-founder of branding specialists This is Fever, based in Chapel Street North, was determined to to help.

And within a few hours he had raised more than £1,600 for the foundation.

He said: "After hearing the news, I knew I had to do something – anything – to help right this wrong.

"So at 5.30 on Friday morning, I started rallying the troops; I emailed our clients and some of our trusted suppliers, and once I knew people were awake I started making calls and dropping by several offices.

"The injustice of the theft and the thought of who it would affect was at the core of people’s response, and to say that the Colchester and Fever community is supportive would be the understatement of the year."

Richard Bowdidge and wife Nikki founded the charity in 2014 in memory of their son Tom, who died fighting an aggressive stomach cancer in 2013.

Before he died, Tom raised more than £100,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Mr Bowdidge said: "We have goosebumps. It’s incredible. We couldn’t be more grateful and touched – cannot thank [contributors] enough."

Here are the companies which raised the cash:

Air Options (Commercial Air Conditioning Services)

We are Aphra (Marketing and Communications Agency)

Cranfield Philips (Coaching and Consultancy)

Discount Golf (Golf Clubs and Equipment)

The Company PA (Performing Arts Training)

Footprint Digital (Digital Marketing Services)

Enigen (Customer Experience Consultancy)

Equine Oils (Horse Massage Oil)

Extended Space (Carpenters and Builders)

This is Fever (Creative Agency)

Greenfield Printing (Packaging and Point of Sale

Hart Wilcox (Experiential Marketing & Events)

Kes Gray (Children’s Author)

The Lexden Crown (Delicious Pub and Restaurant)

Lindsay Wakelin Photography (Photographer Extraordinaire)

Loofer’s (Great Coffee and Food)

Phelan (Construction)

Red Nova (IT Services)

Rose Calendars (Custom Calendars)

TwinkleDust (Beautiful Clothing for Toddlers)