A good Samaritan has stepped in to replace £250 stolen from a collecting box for the Katherine Appeal and he has challenged business owners or private people to match that amount.

Chris Potts, owner of the Plant Centre in Chobham, happens to live in Clifton Gardens, opposite the Frimley Green post office. The charity box was stolen from the post office counter just after Christmas when it was stuffed with money, much of it given by pensioners.

The theft was a severe setback for the appeal and Chris said that when he saw the story in the Star, he was disgusted by it and decided to try to help.

First his manager, John Moran, took up a collection among the staff at the Plant Centre and Chris made it up to £250.

Now he is appealing to other business owners or private individuals to match that amount, and says he will then match their donation, bringing the total up to £750. He will also be putting a collecting box for the appeal in his Plant Centre at Bagshot Road, Chobham.

Chris says he used to support national charities, but has decided to help local causes instead, as he believes they are more accountable. The money will go towards a pioneering brain operation in the USA for Katherine Kendall (18), of 10 Chartwell Gardens, Frimley Green.

Any reader who would like to take up the challenge can ring the Kendall family on 01252 836880.