Sheffield charity fights back in wake of theft

(l-r) Kath Mardles and Paula Higgins of Buzz Sheffield Charity, St Andrew's Church, Upper Hannover Street with Shikah Aldossary, Femi Jeje and Hassan Almarhoum next to the shed which was broken into and had toys and sporting equipment stolen. Picture: Andrew Roe
(l-r) Kath Mardles and Paula Higgins of Buzz Sheffield Charity, St Andrew's Church, Upper Hannover Street with Shikah Aldossary, Femi Jeje and Hassan Almarhoum next to the shed which was broken into and had toys and sporting equipment stolen. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Determined Staff and volunteers at a Sheffield charity are fighting back after callous thieves trashed their premises – for the fourth time.

Buzz Sheffield, which offers support for isolated and vulnerable people in Broomhall, was broken into again overnight on Saturday, November 14.

Thieves stole a DVD player and food bought for the vulnerable children who attend the after-school and youth club, trashed toys and destroyed story sacks made by service users.

But staff and volunteers refuse to be defeated by the thefts and have pledged to continue as normal.

They spent a whole day repairing the damage and tidying up the premises, at St Andrews Church, on Upper Hanover Street, to ensure services could continue.

The charity offers a range of services including an after-school club, youth club, groups for over 50s and family learning sessions.

Manager Kath Mardles said: “One of our values is about seeing the silver lining around every cloud. It is hard to see it in this but we are getting the volunteers in and getting on with things.

“We were at a point where we were excited about some projects coming up, and this is just another blow. It is draining on our resources.

“But everyone has rallied around, including students volunteers from Sheffield Hallam University, to get it back to a good state.

“The last thing we wanted was for the children to feel unsafe – this is a place of security for them.”

Staff are focusing their energy on making artwork for a new initiative called Tycoon in School, run by the Peter Jones Foundation.

Youngsters are creating artwork to sell every Thursday from 4pm at The Moor Market.

The charity will also be holding The Great Buzz Bake Off on November 25, when youngsters and older people will come together to work in teams to make gingerbread men.

Kath said: “The show will go on. This has just set us back slightly, a day or so.”

She added that its wedding child care and children’s party services have not been effected by the break-in.