Store staff are raising funds for the woman they describe as 'extraordinarily brave.'

A homeless woman said to have thwarted a robbery attempt at a beauty store in Oxford has become the focus of a fundraising effort and has hopes of buying a boat with the money raised.

Staff from cosmetic store Lush on Cornmarket Street in Oxford say that Lottie Pauling-Chamberlain, who sleeps rough outside their shop, stopped a man she saw leaving the shop with a laptop and a large box of cosmetics.

“This week LUSH Oxford was burgled. We wandered into our store the next morning slightly bemused, worriedly staring at the empty space our work laptop usually rested, with a further worry about what else was missing from our little shop.

“So… in walks Lottie a day later, with a box full of LUSH products, and our laptop! Lottie regularly sleeps on the streets of Oxford, and is known to many who live here. We have known Lottie for years, and have always felt safer with her outside of our shop. Lottie knows us, knows our delivery staff, knows LUSH. She knew that the man walking out of our shop was not us, and she did the extraordinarily brave thing of challenging him. And taking back what was not his; returning a box worth over a thousand pounds back to us.

“We want to share what Lottie did with all of you, because we are greatly moved by her selfless actions in protecting us, and want to thank her from the bottom of our hearts.”

In return for her good deed, the store has raised £7,000 using charitable funding site

The store’s staff say they are sitting down with Pauling-Chamberlain to assist her in determining ways to use the money raised for herself and to aid other homeless in Oxford.

“Homeless budgets are continually being cut, services destroyed, in Oxford. There is a dwindling support for vulnerable people and we must fight it … It is our responsibility to speak out, volunteer, become active in challenging these governmental cuts, and the stigma against homeless people.”

Pauling-Chamberlain has opened a Facebook account where she describes her occupation as Lush’s “Bouncer (Doorman) LOL” and said she hopes to buy caravans to house fellow homeless people as well as a boat for herself and her dog.

She said: “hi so I’m Lottie and that my ‘dog Marley’ as in bob thank u all sooooooooooo much literally I’m overwhelmed had to open first facebook account just to comment on all this. hope the sun shines on all ur faces as a card sent by a lovely lady to lush said … ok so now found a boat that is purrrrfect for marley and i.n hope we get there with ur help we will”

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