VIDEO: Charity founder makes plea for support after thieves steal cash

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The founder of a local charity which helps African people living in poverty has hit out at heartless thieves who stole three of its collection jars full of cash.

Whiteabbey man Andrew McCallion set up Penny Tuppence Charity Ministries three years ago. Since then he and a handful of other volunteers have raised over £15,000 for a variety of humanitarian projects working with children and adults suffering from leprosy, HIV and extreme poverty in areas of Ethiopia and Kenya.

Andrew McCallion of Penny Tuppence Charity Ministries. INNT 30-022-FP

Andrew McCallion of Penny Tuppence Charity Ministries. INNT 30-022-FP

Last weekend thieves broke into The Chip Yard, Shore Road and Juniors Fish and Chips at Cloughfern Corner, making off with cash and other items, including money - possibly more than £300 - collected for the Penny Tuppence charity. Another of the charity’s collection jars was stolen from an outlet in the Abbey Centre.

“It’s just such a pity that children who need this money so badly are missing out. The thieves who took these jars have sunk to an all time low,” Mr McCallion said.

Working with the Strong Hearts orphanage and Manna Ministries, the locally-based charity helps impoverished people in areas of Nairobi and Addas Ababa.

Mr McCallion recently launched the ‘Million Penny Pyramid’ appeal and is hoping that Penny Tuppence will be the first charity anywhere in the world to collect a million pennies.

Almost 11,000 have been collected so far, but he’s hoping local householders and businesses will back the appeal by filling jars with 1ps and 2ps or making larger donations, eventually helping raise £10,000.

“We are not asking for a lot of money, just for people to give the odd penny or tuppence. It’s not much to us, but it could make a big difference to people living in Ethiopia or Kenya,” the 56-year-old added.

Mr McCallion, who has travelled out to Ethiopia and Kenya on several occasions to see the work the charity is helping to support, is planning to travel to Africa again in September.

Anyone who would be interested in helping with fundraising or volunteering with the charity should telephone Andrew on 07881 848145 or email