Northampton fundraiser for Land Rover set on fire in suspected theft raises more than £1,600 in a single day

A whopping donation of £500 is just part of the support from the 'tight-knit' foodie sector in Northampton

Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 12:47 pm
The classic Land Rover Defender was almost fully restored and branded before the crime

A GoFundMe set up after a family business' fully restored Land Rover Defender was set on fire has raised more than £1,600 in a single day, hitting more than ten percent of their goal already.

The Land Rover, owned by family-run Santina’s Woodfired Pizza Co., was reportedly set ablaze during a suspected theft, destroying roughly £10,000 worth of investment in the company.

And yet in less than a day, the GoFundMe set up to fund its repair or replacement had already passed £1,000, with no shortage of supportive messages.

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The fire has gutted the Land Rover, leaving its future uncertain

Oliver Nesbitt, co-owner of the business, said: "It's just overwhelming to see the support we're getting.

"I've never asked for anything in my life and it almost brings you to tears how lovely people really are.

"I really didn't want to do a fundraiser. I was convinced to do one for this, given what's happened. So we spoke to some people who've done fundraisers before.

"I thought about asking for two, maybe three hundred quid. But they said we should ask for what the Land Rover actually cost us which was about £10,000.

"This has definitely given me hope. But we'll get there either way. I don't expect anything from anyone so it just means the world to us that so many people would want to help."

Oliver said that he hopes the company, which is co-owned by his brother-in-law Sam Mendel, can eventually expand to having multiple vehicles

However he stressed that the emphasis now is simply on getting the Land Rover fixed or replaced so the company can get 'back on our feet'.

It seems there is no shortage of individuals and fellow foodie companies that have to lent a hand, jumping the total from £1,000 to more than £1,600 in just a few hours.

John Lashley, the 'Main Dude' at Northampton-based desert company Brooklyn Brownie Co., made a large donation of £100, saying that he and Oliver have been good friends since lockdown.

The father-of-one said that their two businesses are part of the tight-knit 'foodie' community in Northampton. With a whopping £500 given by Yuma's kitchen alone, there is certainly no shortage of support.

John said: "It was kind of gutting to see a really good friend, who worked his butt off to get himself and his family where they are, have it ripped away from him, at least in part. It was really awful.

"So the first thing we did was start asking around if people wanted to help out. One of the first things we heard was 'is there a GoFundMe yet?'

"Because what's a couple bucks? Five bucks from, what, 100 or 200 people can make a huge difference.

"I just hope he can get something back from this. Maybe something even better."

Anyone who is interested in the fundraiser can visit their GoFundMe page to find out more.