"People who steal from us are stealing from the sick children" — a charity shop worker has hit out at shoplifters who targeted them.

Maddi's Butterflies Children's Cancer Charity shop in Prestwich said they were "shocked and appalled" as they watched video footage of two women stealing from the premises.

Staff say they have contacted the police about the theft of three pairs of shoes, a clutch bag and selection of children's toys.

Charity founder Samantha Allan said: "We take this incredibly seriously. My daughter passed away from cancer. This is her legacy.

"We are a charity not a business. We are not lining our pockets with the profit. We work really hard to make sure we bring in as much money as possible to help others. They are basically stealing from the sick children we grant wishes for.

"These items would only cost £30. It is not the value. It is the fact that they have come into our shop and stolen from us.

"We are only a small charity shop. Just because our items are donated to us, does not give people the right to take them."

Maddi's Butterflies charity shop, in Bury New Road, has been the victim of several thefts since its opening in June last year.

Owners installed CCTV both inside and outside to deter thieves, and to protect the staff and customers.

The latest incident is understood to have taken place shortly before 2pm on Tuesday when there were other customers in the shop.

"It was quite busy in the shop at the time", Samantha said. "A member of staff realised there was a pair of shoes missing and came to tell me. We checked the cameras and saw what had happened. We need to stop this."

Samantha urged local businesses to be vigilant.

Maddi's Butterflies was set up six years ago in memory of Samantha's daughter Madison Allan, who died of neuroblastoma in December 2011 at the age of just seven.

The charity raises awareness and money for families with children who have been diagnosed with neuroblastoma and other rare forms of cancer. It also provides short holiday breaks for families.

Staff are currently appealing for donations of new pairs of pyjamas to contribute to an annual campaign. Last year, Maddi's Butterflies handed out 1,700 pairs of pyjamas, to the oncology ward at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and to the children it supports.

Pyjamas can be dropped off at the charity shop. For other locations, see the Maddi's Butterflies Children's Cancer Charity Facebook page.