A FAMILY feel “violated, hurt and saddened” after a donation box raising cash in memory of their two-year-old son with a dazzling Christmas lights display was stolen from outside their home. 

Hayley Hatfield, her partner Anthony, and their son, Thomas, decked their Benfleet home out in Christmas decorations in a bid to raise money for their charity George’s Windmill. 

The family launched the charity to support the families of sick children in memory of their son, George, who died in December 2019, after a battle with a rare liver disease. 

Echo: Dazzling - the family's Christmas lights displayDazzling - the family's Christmas lights display (Image: George's Windmills)

The home, in Kents Hill Road, was covered in Christmas lights at the end of November and the charity tin was stolen between Thursday last week and Saturday morning. 

Hayley, 37, said: “I am fuming and disappointed more than anything.

“I cannot even imagine someone would steal from a charity, but it has happened.

“On the box was my little boy George’s face, who has passed away and we raise money for.

Echo: In memory - GeorgeIn memory - George (Image: George's Windmills)

“We do have a replacement donation box for George’s Windmills that we can put out but if it has happened one, it could happen again – which is what I am fearing.

“We are all feeling violated, hurt and saddened.”

On Saturday evening, Mrs Hatfield and her nine-year-old were about to start their walk in the street to see the lights, when she noticed the box was missing.

All that was left on the wall were the screws.

Echo: Remains - screws in the brick wallRemains - screws in the brick wall (Image: George's Windmills)

All proceeds were set to go to George's Windmills, which was formed in 2021.

George was born on July 18, 2017, but after some “extremely precious weeks” at home, it was discovered he was suffering from a very rare liver disease called biliary atresia, which affects the bile ducts of infants.

On January 14, 2019, he received a donor but after six months, his health deteriorated and by December, he was diagnosed with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PITLD) – a rare and aggressive form of cancer.

At Great Ormond Street Hospital, he passed away at just two-years-old.

Echo: Remembering - GeorgeRemembering - George (Image: George's Windmills)

To donate and find out more information about George’s Windmills, visit: georgeswindmills.co.uk.