A community in Ghana will lead healthier lifestyles, thanks to the generosity of Leighton Buzzard Market customers.
They’ve contributed £8,000 over the past two years to the Nyanyaano Development Project, bringing running water, drainage and sewage to the village.
It would have been more had callous thieves not stolen a nearly full collection box from Creighton’s Chocolaterie.
Owner Lucy Elliott, who runs the shop with her mum Andrea, said: “It was taken on a quiet week day morning while a staff member was wrapping chocolate bars just out of sight.
“She didn’t hear anyone come in but noticed it was missing about 11am.”
The collection pot has now been replaced and tied down, to prevent the same thing happening again.
Lucy said they hoped to replace the money with their annual Christmas donation to the charity.
She added: “We’ve never had a similar theft – the pot was on the counter for three years – so we’re hoping it was a one-off. But we’re being extra vigilant now.”
A courteous and well-dressed Ghanaian man, James Buxton, comes to the market every Tuesday to collect money for the charity.
He said: “Everyone is so generous and so helpful.
“There are now six public toilets in the village, with 12 cubicles in each. They have made a lot of difference.
“One side of the village now has drainage and there are plans to drill for a borehole.
“I was able to present the village chief with a giant cheque when he was in the UK recently.”
Management consultant James, who came to the UK in 1959, went to Nyanyaano some years ago for a family funeral.
He said: “I saw the place and was so disappointed, and that led me to setting up the charity.”
James can be found outside Costa every Tuesday.