A BENCH that was paid for by a fund-raising six-year-old has been returned to the care home it was stolen from last month.

Ella Lord was left distraught after thieves stole the bench that she had helped to pay for from Andrew Smith House care home in Nelson.

St Paul’s School pupil Ella Lord sold friendship bracelets to help towards the Nelson care home’s dementia-friendly ‘reflection garden’ after the death of her great-grandma Phyllis, who was cared for at the home.

But thieves entered the garden and made off with Ella’s bench, leaving the little girl heartbroken.

On Friday, two men arrived at the care home carrying the bench.

Helen Monk, from Andrew Smith House, said: “I couldn’t believe it when they turned up.

“They had the bench and said that although they weren’t the ones who had stolen it, they knew the person who had and had told him Ella’s story.

“They had said that the thief felt guilty and asked them to return it to us.”

Ella was very close to her great-grandma Phyllis and used to visit her in the home every day.

After one visit, Ella asked her mum, Kelly, if she could sell her toys to cure her great grandma of dementia.

Kelly explained that dementia was incurable but suggested they raise money to help towards the home’s dementia garden which is due to officially open this summer.

Kelly said: “It’s just nice to know that they do have a heart after all. Ella worked really hard and raised £250 at first and then raised a further £120 just because she wanted to do something to help other people that were like her great grandma who suffered with dementia.

“She was very excited to hear that the bench had been returned.

“My dad, Pat, works at the care home as domestic help and she rang him straight away and said “Please tell the two men that the little girl said thank-you so much for bringing the bench back.’”