Community rallies to help couple left out of pocket after pension money goes missing

File photo dated 14/09/17 of a man withdrawing money from an ATM. Cash machine use has jumped as loc

Mick Hughes withdrew £100 of his pension money at Co Op Shephall at The Hyde, Stevenage yesterday (May 11) - Credit: PA

A Stevenage couple have said they are overwhelmed by the "kindness of strangers", after many rallied to help when their pension money was lost.

Mick Hughes, 71, drew out £100 of his pension at Co-op in The Hyde at around 10am on Tuesday, May 11.

He then went into the store to do some shopping and, upon opening his wallet at the till, he found that the money was not there.

After sharing an appeal on behalf of the couple to help track down their missing cash, the Comet has seen an influx of people offering to support Mick and his wife Margaret in any way they can. 

One person to leap into action was Chris Devalda, who set up a JustGiving page to make up the missing funds.

Overwhelmed by the prospect of such generosity from complete strangers, Margaret told the Comet that any monies raised would mean the world to her and her husband.


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"There's a lot of kind people. That is really, really lovely," she said.

Still unsure if the money was retracted back into the cash machine, Margaret has reported the incident to the police in case the money was stolen. Those with any information should contact Herts police and quote crime reference number 41/34959/21.  

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And even if the money was reclaimed the ATM, claiming the money back can often be a difficult process, which Margaret said could take months to verify, and may not even be successful.

Margaret said: "This is a lot of money for us."

She added the implications of not having this money readily available will set them back on certain monthly outgoings.

"All we've ever done is work. We've always paid our way," she said.

"It's really kind. We give, we give and we give. We've helped the homeless before, taking people into our house. We're constantly giving. We haven't expected anything back, though."

Margaret also took the time to praise her husband's kind nature, stating that he would never let anybody go without. She was pleased to hear that there were equally good-hearted people in Stevenage - and beyond - that were willing to give them a boost.

Chris is eager to continue to raise funds for the couple "that will help them with other bits they may need", regardless of if the original money reappears.

He added: "As we all know, it's been a struggle for everyone with COVID and various lockdowns. People have been struggling with money and I thought this would be a nice gesture to help the couple."

So far, the JustGiving page, which initially set out to cover the £100 that was missing, has raised £130. Chris said the page will stay live until Monday (May 17) if anyone else would like to help, and will gift all proceeds to the couple thereafter.

You can donate to Chris' JustGiving page by visiting justgiving.com/crowdfunding/chris-devalda.

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