Thieves target Sheffield charity twice in a week

The scene after a break-in at the Reach South Sheffield offices in the Herdings Community and Heritage Centre in Gleadless.
The scene after a break-in at the Reach South Sheffield offices in the Herdings Community and Heritage Centre in Gleadless.
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A charity that works with some of Sheffield's most deprived neighbourhoods has been targeted by thieves twice in two nights.

Burglars stole a laptop and caused a large amount of damage when they got into Herdings Community and Heritage Centre, a council-owned building used by Reach South Sheffield in Gleadless, late on Tuesday.

Charity bosses had already been forced to repair a window at the grade II-listed building after an attempted break-in the previous night.

Fundraising manager Helen Mather said not only had the thieves stolen charity property and ransacked the building, but they had also taken up the valuable time of staff and volunteers who had to clean up.

"We know they got away with the laptop, and we are hoping they haven't taken anything more.

"But they have made a huge mess and caused a lot of damage.

"This takes up a lot of staff time, and we are a charity providing very important services to the community."

Reach South Sheffield works with people in Gleadless, Gleadless Valley, Jordanthorpe, Batemoor and Lowedges - areas with some of the highest levels of deprivation in the city.

The Herdings building is just one of the charity's bases, but is regularly used. It hosts a lunch club for older people, adult learning courses to help boost self confidence and wellbeing and a weekly youth club.

It is also used as office space by Reach staff.

The charity also offers services aimed at helping older and vulnerable people stay active and independent, such as a bus to a swimming pool and gym,

Several years ago arsonists set fire to the bus, leaving people who relied on it lonely and isolated for many weeks until a replacement was found.

"We have insurance but it's taken a up a huge amount of our time today. All that for a laptop," said Mrs Mather.

"It's just a huge drain on resources and we obviously need to raise money to carry out all our services.

Community development co-ordinator Sue Dixon added: "The thieves completely disregarded the importance of the grade II-listed building that provides these vital services within a deprived community."

If you would like to donate to the charity visit reachsouthsheffield.org.uk.

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