THIEVES have ransacked and stolen a charity vegetable stall from a dedicated Reading fundraiser.

Victoria Wooldridge, who lives near Palmer Park with her partner Brian Byrne, works as a fruit and vegetable gardener and has been selling surplus produce outside her home since April.

Locals visit to collect fruit and vegetables - kept in a rabbit hutch which had been converted into a vegetable shed by the pair – and donate money to charity.

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More than £1000 has been raised by charitable donations and Mr Byrne explained £600 of this is going to the NHS and £400 to Mind and an Alzheimer’s charity of Ms Wooldridge’s choice.

However, on Thursday night thieves reportedly threw the produce on the floor and stole the hutch itself.

Mr Byrne said: “We try and do something nice for charity then someone comes along and ruins it.”

Thames Valley Police confirmed it received reports that a shed was stolen from the front of a property on Thursday (July 16).

The force said: “The shed was a chicken coop which was used to store home grown vegetables that the victim sold for small donations to charity, which would also be left in a slot in the coop.

“There is no confirmation that any money was in the coop when it was stolen.

“No arrests have currently been made, and anyone with any information should call 101 quoting reference 43200217956 or make a report online.”

Despite this, Mr Byrne said Ms Wooldridge is “not going to stop” her charitable work.

He explained she started offering produce to locals in April when garden centres closed, and she started selling vegetable plants so people could grow their own.

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Normally, she leaves the fruit and vegetables outside her home before she goes to work, and people can choose to donate to charity when picking produce.

Mr Byrne said rhubarb and homemade jams prove popular with the community who have been supporting the couple since the vegetable shed was stolen.

People have been sending cards to the couple to say sorry and some have donated money for them to buy a new vegetable shed.

Mr Byrne said he is looking to build a new vegetable shed and will donate the money from the community to charity.

Ms Wooldridge is no stranger to fundraising and holds plant and cake sales each year to raise money for different charities.

She has thanked the local community “for all their kind words and support”.