Heartless thieves steal from funds raised for Make-A-Wish in Broome

Cain AndrewsBroome Advertiser
Hayden Ashton and Amber Ryan had their caravan burgled while they slept inside.
Camera IconHayden Ashton and Amber Ryan had their caravan burgled while they slept inside. Credit: Cain Andrews/Broome Advertiser

A man travelling Australia to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish foundation was among a number of caravans burgled at a Broome park recently — with thousands of dollars raised for sick children stolen.

Hayden Ashton had been travelling across Australia since 2021, playing his guitar at caravan park campfires in regional towns to raise money for Make-A-Wish Australia.

During his travels Mr Ashton has raised more than $30,000.

His latest stop was the Broome Caravan Park after he raised $3500 at the Tarangau Caravan Park on August 8.

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But on August 10, Mr Ashton and his family were robbed when burglars broke into his caravan.

Mr Ashton’s partner Amber Ryan awoke at 4am to two youths inside their caravan, rummaging through their belongings.

Mr Ashton, Ms Ryan and their baby daughter Freya were all in the caravan at the time of the burglary but only Ms Ryan awoke.

The two youths made off with $1300 Mr Ashton had raised while in the Kimberley which had been placed in bags and left on the caravan counter to be taken to the bank the next morning.

Mr Ashton said once Ms Ryan alerted him he called police who were on the scene within two minutes.

According to Mr Ashton, police said there had been a string of crimes committed in the area that night with eight other sites robbed.

“Last night they seemed to go on a bit of rampage and stole cars and all that, that’s why I don’t think it was necessarily a planned thing, I think it was just it was just opportunistic,” he said.

Mr Ashton said he would personally replace the money and that his biggest concern was the safety of his family during the burglary.

“It’s not the money so much because, yes it is frustrating, but I’ll make that back for the charity,” he said.

“It’s about the fact that my baby was in there while it was happening.”

He said there had been an outpouring of support from the Broome community once they had found out about the robbery.

“We put a thing up on the social media just before and we’ve been inundated with messages of people wanting to make donations,” he said.

“The community spirit has really shone through.

“I’ll pay for it out of my own money because the fact is there’s kids who are real crook and want their wishes filled.”

Mr Ashton’s next fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish foundation will be held at Pardoo Station on August 17.

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