Community rallies around Kettering handbag robbery victim

"We have experienced the worst and the best kind of humanity this week."

Monday, 16th September 2019, 4:44 pm
Joy is being supported by the community through fundraising and donations, including this hamper from Morrisons
Joy is being supported by the community through fundraising and donations, including this hamper from Morrisons

The grand-daughter of a woman badly injured in a handbag robbery in Kettering has thanked the community for their support as her grandmother continues to recover from the ordeal.

Joy Morson, 79, was robbed of her handbag on Sunday, September 8, in St Theresa's Close between 3.20pm and 3.50pm in an attack that was caught on CCTV which has been widely shared.

Joy's grand-daughter, Brittany Morson, said they have been overwhelmed by the response from the public.

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Bruising on Joy Morson's arm caused by the break she suffered when a man stole her handbag

"Everyone has been so kind and generous, it's just gone crazy. We didn't expect it.

"The whole community is pulling together, but it's gone a lot further than that," she said, adding that she's seen the CCTV footage shared by Piers Morgan, Jeremy Vine, Shane Ritchie and John Bishop.

"So many people are messaging and asking if they can give her gifts and things like that."

Two fundraising pages set up for Joy have raised more than £3,000 in total. One page was set up by Joy's nephew Keith and another was set up by local woman Debbie Thompson, who is not known to the family but said she wanted to raise money for the victim in the Facebook birthday fundraiser she started.

Joy's arm was broken in two places in the incident

Brittany said there had been some large donations, including from Go-Tow Ltd Corby, a family run towbar fitting business, donated £100 to the fundraising

Last week, Keith said he was not sure what the money would go towards but said: "We can get auntie Joy away or she can have something nice, it's so comforting to her.

"We just weren't expecting this response, she loves gardening so maybe she'd put something towards that.

"It gives her a whole lot of options."

Morrisons sent three large boxes of groceries to Joy as she recuperates

Some of the gestures and offers Joy has received since the vicious attack has included an offer of free injury rehabilitation from Claire Gazeley at Knead It Sport and three large hampers from Morrisons.

Brittany said: "We are having a feast" with all the chocolates and other gifts people have sent.

Brittany, who works for East Midlands Ambulance Service, has been staying with her grandmother while she recovers.

"Yes, I've been camping at her house, coming after shifts or before shifts.

Claire Gazeley from Knead It Sport has offered injury rehabilitation to Joy free of charge

"[Her arm] is broken in quite a few places, it's broken in two places in the humerus bone to the top of the arm by the shoulder."

Joy's injuries mean she needs help getting dressed and putting her shoes on among other tasks. Brittany said the injuries will take around two to three months to recover.

The arm is badly bruised and Brittany said: "There is bruising all over her chest and where she landed.

"She's ok, it's a really long road for her still, physically and mentally. She is going out of the house now to see friends but she likes to be with people and she is still quite guarded.

Joy's granddaughter has also been helping to replace all the bits she lost in the robbery.

"We set up her phone yesterday, so that's another thing off the list.

"We've been getting all her cards renewed, her nectar card and things like that," said Brittany.

She said Joy had been sad to lose her diary in her handbag too, which was one of her favourite handbags.

Brittany said she now hoped there would be greater awareness of what people can do to avoid anything like this happening again.

"We were at her bowls group this morning to raise awareness of things, like what you have in your handbag and clocking people and [noticing] what identifies them.

"Things like putting your car keys in your pocket rather than your bag so they don't have access to your house.

"It's just little bits, like clocking people, take main roads and stay really visible to everybody else. Don't take car keys out if you're not driving."

Detective Constable Bates, who is leading the investigation, has been calling regularly to check up on Joy but so far there has been no news on the offender.

Brittany said although Joy is "really grateful" for the donations and support, she doesn't fully understand the social media support so the family are planning to present her with the fundraising proceeds sometime in the near future with Debbie.