Community rallies to help vegan cafe and art space after raid in Sheffield

Kind-hearted Sheffield residents have rallied to help a vegan cafe and art space following a raid in Sheffield.

Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 2:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 2:09 pm
Malcolm Camp at DINA

DINA, a vegan cafe and art space in Cambridge Street in Sheffield city centre, was broken into in the early hours of yesterday by a man who smashed a window to gain entry.

COURT: Three men bailed over arson attack on police cars in South Yorkshire He stole hundreds of pounds worth of spirits, with whiskey, gin, tequila and vodka among the bottles swiped in the raid, which came just six weeks after another break-in.

Malcolm Camp at DINA

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But upset customers, performers and artists who use the cafe and art space rallied round and raised over £1,000 in one day to carry out repairs and replace the stolen stock in a show of solidarity for those behind the art space and cafe.

Miriam Schechter, who set up an online Go Fund Me page, described the response to her appeal for help as ‘incredible,’ ‘amazing and ‘overwhelming’.

A thief broke into DINA in Sheffield city centre this week

“The more we raise, the more we can do to improve the safety and security of the building to make sure it stays open as long as possible,” she said. “DINA is a DIY, not-for-profit arts space run by a core team of extremely hard working people working long hours to put on art, parties, workshops, discussions, theatre, spoken word and lots more for and by local people.  “The people who work there do so on a mostly voluntary basis.  “DINA has no public or regular funding. It is a completely independent venue in which the only income is through hire, bar and cafe sales.  “Through the ups, downs, and stresses like this one, DINA still manages to support local artists and the community more than any arts centre I have ever known.”

She added: “DINA gives a lot of free rehearsal space to artistic groups, free venue hire to people raising money for good causes, support to local people and really accessible and affordable exhibitions and art.  “I am writing as someone who has been supported massively by DINA.  “I can't explain enough how much DINA deserves your support and donations at this time.

“Spaces like this don't last for long without help.” Malcolm Camp, a director at DINA, said he was ‘much heartened’ by the response to the break-in.

“The response from the Sheffield community has been incredible. Our response was to get upset and angry at the burglary but the response of Miriam and others was to get everyone behind us to help and it has made a real difference.

“You can feel on your own and embattled as an independent art space so it is great to know that the Sheffield community cares.”

Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 101.