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Barbecue blow to fundraising mission

PUBLISHED: 17:54 16 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:05 06 July 2010

THIEVES have ruined a club's fundraising efforts for a hospital by stealing a barbecue from its premises.

Lowestoft Ex-Servicemen's Club steward Kevin McConville discovered that the equipment had been taken from the back of the premises, in Gordon Road, as he opened up for the day.

THIEVES have ruined a club's fundraising efforts for a hospital by stealing a barbecue from its premises.

Lowestoft Ex-Servicemen's Club steward Kevin McConville discovered that the equipment had been taken from the back of the premises, in Gordon Road, as he opened up for the day.

Upsettingly for the club, the sole reason that members bought the gas-powered barbecue was to raise money for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

They wanted to show their gratitude after Mr McConville, who has been the live-in club steward for nine years, was treated for chronic kidney disease at its Jack Pryor Unit.

Mr McConville, 55, had dialysis for two-and-a-half years before he underwent a kidney transplant at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, in August 2008.

He recalled: “I spent 11 hours a day on the machine but was still able to live life the way I wanted.

“I was here when I was not on that. It meant I was able to lead as normal a life as possible.”

Shortly after the transplant, Mr McConville's wife Doreen suggested that they find a way to raise money for the unit that had cared for him.

They had had the barbecue for two years, and in that time they had helped to raise more than £400 by selling burgers and hot dogs on special occasions.

“That was our tool to raise funds. To think someone donated an organ for me to live yet someone comes and takes this - it's the two ends of the spectrum,” said Mr McConville, a former roofer.

The barbecue and its gas bottle were removed from behind the club between 11.30pm on Wednesday, April 7 and 10am the following day.

Suffolk police are appealing for information from anyone who saw people acting suspiciously in the area or

who knows the whereabouts of the equipment.

Information to Lowestoft police station on 01986 835300.

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