THE COMMUNITY came together to support a poorly woman whose Christmas presents were robbed from her home.

The 44-year-old, named locally as Claire, was asleep in her home in Austin Road, Woodley, when a thief opened the front door and ransacked her home.

Investigating police officers recovered some of the gifts along Vauxhall Road and in Vauxhall Park but most of them were heavily damaged or broken.

They included cash, scratch cards, a George Foreman grill and chocolates.

A fundraising page was subsequently launched to help raise cash for Claire, who is suffering from a life-limiting illness.

It has so far fetched more than £1,000.

A post reads: "Having been robbed twice at Christmas in the past I know how crap it is, particularly when you lose personal bits and piece. Hope this helps a little and you have a great Christmas."

Another states: "Hi Claire, I don’t go on Facebook that much but I saw your post the other day and I felt so sorry for you and your family. Take care, you’ve been through so much xx."

The shocking incident happened sometime overnight on Friday, December 15 and police want to talk to anyone with information.

A police spokesman said: "The victim, a 44-year-old woman, was asleep in the property at the time of the incident. When the victim awoke in the morning, she discovered the front door was open and her family's Christmas presents had been stolen along with a laptop and satellite navigation system.

"Although some of the presents have been recovered from Vauxhall Park on Vauxhall Road, they have been damaged and will need to be replaced."

A laptop and a USB stick containing precious family photos were also stolen during the raid.

Police constable Erika King, added: "This burglary has had a huge emotional impact on the victim and her family due to the personal circumstances.

"I would like to appeal for anyone who may have witnessed this incident, or can provide further information that may assist this investigation.

"I would particularly like to hear from anyone who may have seen or heard anything unusual in this area around the time of the incident."