Community project targeted by thieves

The Action for Stannington group have had their lock-up at Stannington Park raided and all the gardening items have been stolen. Members, from left, Jackie Parker, Julie Shaw, Bradley Shaw and Danny Piermattei

The Action for Stannington group have had their lock-up at Stannington Park raided and all the gardening items have been stolen. Members, from left, Jackie Parker, Julie Shaw, Bradley Shaw and Danny Piermattei

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Volunteers who help clean up their community and carry out gardening work for the elderly and disabled have been left devastated after thieves ransacked their storage unit and stole all their equipment.

Gardening tools worth around £3,000 were taken in the raid and volunteers who devote their spare time to keeping Stannington clean and tidy have issued an appeal for the equipment to be returned.

Action for Stannington - set up in 1999 to encourage local people to take pride in their community and responsibility for it - stored gardening tools in a lock-up unit in Stannington Park, off Uppergate Road.

But thieves raided the lock-up and stole the equipment - leaving elderly, disabled and vulnerable residents without anyone to do their gardening for them.

Three leaf blowers, one shredders, two strimmers, two hedge cutters one jet washer, fuel and five lawn mowers were stolen.

Volunteer Julie Shaw, whose husband and son also give up their free time to help the community, said she was disgusted at the break-in.

“It is not only disappointing but disgusting,” she said.

“The tools were used by local people doing their bit for the community, so if local people are responsible for this they are spiting their own community,” she said.

“I find it despicable that people would want to do this to people who rely on Action for Stannington volunteers.”

Coun David Baker, who represents Stannington, said: ”It is absolutely despicable for something like this to happen to an organisation which exists solely for the local community.

“I am a member of the Northern Community Assembly and will see whether there is anything we can do to assist.”

n Anyone with information should call police on 0114 220 2020.

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