Firm quadruples funding efforts after ex-employee's charity theft
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Staff angered by the theft of money raised for cancer patients by a former employee have gone on to raise more than four times that amount through a charity auction and head shave.
Redpack Packaging Machinery, in Barnard Road, Norwich, were left rocked after Michelle Andrews, administrations manager, took more than £14,000 from the company, including nearly £600 raised for Macmillan Cancer Support.
As part of its re-raising efforts, staff held a 24-hour auction to make back the £599 taken, including raffling off a £249 bike Andrews had purchased with the cash.
This shot up to £2,750 after team members Matt Bullard, Hallam Melton, Ben Lincoln, Matt Amis and Dieter Leleu shaved their heads on Monday, which has raised £2,150 and counting.
Gary Howard, general manager, contacted the charity's counter fraud team with Bob Browell and Lee Duddridge, which pursued Andrews, and said the actions broke down trust within the team and caused a lot of anger that had to be rebuilt.
Mr Howard said: “This culture took a real knock in February 2020, when this incident first came to light.
"The immediate cost to the company was bad enough, but then came the cost of the investigation, of implementing new checks and processes and the erosion of trust between management and employees, and even between some employees themselves.
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“It took nearly six months to re-establish that trust between us and get our team back to where we were.
"It was disappointing enough for the team to learn that someone had stolen from their employer, but to learn that she had also taken from a charity – one near and dear for many of us – caused a lot of anger.
"I'm so proud of the team, they are stars.
"Who won now? We have, we have had a great day, we have raised money for Macmillan. The only person that hasn't is the one who did this in the first place.
"One bad apple doesn't spoil the barrel."
The counter fraud team has recovered in excess of £600,000 since its establishment in 2015.
Bob Browell, counter-fraud manager at Macmillan who attended the headshave, said: “It is vital the public are confident their donations are used as intended to help people living with cancer."