SCOTTISH actress and writer Kate Copstick was attacked in the street on Saturday by muggers who stole £8500 in cash.

Copstick, 66, was taking the money home from the charity shop she runs in Shepherds’ Bush, ahead of flying to Kenya to help women in need via her charity Mama Biashara. 

The charity provides grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security.

On Saturday, September 3, as she was walking home, she was attacked by two men in balaclavas, who grabbed her, put her in a chokehold, and when she screamed out, kicked her in the back of the leg causing her to fall to the ground. 

They ripped open her backpack, left her phone and purse on the floor, and took the only envelope of cash. 

READ MORE: Body found as police investigate murder of retired teacher Peter Coshan

Copstick said: “I was walking home, it wasn’t very late and the street I live on is very well lit, I heard running behind me and turned to see the kind of outfit you only normally see in TV dramas – someone dressed head-to-toe in black, with a full face balaclava.

"He grabbed for my bag and I began to scream and shout for help, he put me in a chokehold and suddenly a second man – dressed exactly the same – appeared. I thought they were going to kill me.

"They kicked me to the ground, took the money and ran. I live in a not-posh area of Shepherd’s Bush – there is crime, there are muggings, but it’s generally kids looking to steal a few quid – not full-grown men essentially dressed like ninjas.

"They didn’t take anything else, which sadly means I was very likely targeted, and that someone knew I would be carrying a significant amount of charity cash with me. I’m talking to the police about that now.”

Although hurt, Copstick will physically recover, but the stolen money was due to be allocated to help a group of women escape from a situation where they would be forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM).

Due to ongoing issues with accessing money from a UK Bank whilst in Kenya, Copstick had discovered she must travel with an allocation of cash to avoid getting stuck whilst waiting for holds on an account to be lifted.

FGM has been illegal in Kenya since 2011 but it is still carried out in many areas with Copstick’s charity helping to rescue 400 women from having to go through it in August alone. 

A similar number was planned for September with the women being provided with training and resources to set up their own small businesses once they are brought to safety.

The actress has had a long TV career hosting in the 1980s and appeared on children’s TV shows Playschool and No. 73 in the 1980s as well as ChuckleVision in the 1990s. 

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon among those to pay tribute to former Glasgow Labour leader Malcolm Cunning

At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2003 and 2004, she was awarded the Perrier Comedy Award.

On the work the charity does, she said: “We are a very small charity, and whilst that comes with challenges of its own, it also means we are able to work on the ground, because we are known and trusted, we can access people in a way the bigger charities are not able to.

"The work we do saves lives, and saves people from a life of misery. We have women and girls in hiding, waiting to be rescued, if we can’t raise the money fast, they are in significant danger of being found and returned to the people who will hurt them.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Copstick replace the vital funds she needs to take to Kenya which can be accessed HERE.