“Cowardly” thieves ransack Sheffield charity and cause thousands of pounds worth of damage
“Cowardly” thieves have ransacked a Sheffield charity, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
Staff at Parson Cross Forum were “devastated" to discover the damage when they arrived at work on Thursday morning (6 February). A small amount of cash was also stolen during the burglary, which took place after 9pm on Wednesday.
“Significant” damage has been done to many of the fixtures and fittings inside, including doors, desks and cupboards, with repair costs expected to reach four figures.
A post on the Parson Cross Forum Facebook page read: “It is sickening to think that we are a small local charity who works hard to provide much needed services for your local community and these thieves think nothing of destroying this.
“As you can imagine the cost of the burglary is significant to us.”
The charity delivers activities and services for people of all ages in the local community, including dementia services, lunch clubs, and printing and photocopying services. It employs three full-time staff, with 20 volunteers.
Louise Ashmore from the centre says more than 1000 people use it in some capacity every week. For many, a trip to the centre is their only form of social contact. But some service users had to be turned away on Thursday as a result of the damage.
“We’re annoyed because the people who have done it have stole off their own community and damaged it,” she said.
“If they are from here it could be their parents, grandparents or children who use this place.”
There is no CCTV at the centre to identify the perpetrators.
Louise said: “We have never wanted to because we never wanted to think we would be that sort of organisation [to get burgled].
“We’re devastated. It’s like a family environment, it’s like they have come into our home.”
She added: “We’ve managed to work today, they’re not beating us.”
Louise said the charity may have to fundraise to pay some of the costs they face.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesperson confirmed they were investigating the incident. Anyone with information should call police quoting incident number 137 of 6 February 2020.