Burglars target hospice charity shops for fourth time

14 November 2011

Burglars have broken into a Barnsley Hospice charity shop for the fourth time this year.
In the latest break-in on Friday raiders ransacked the Stairfoot shop after removing roof tiles to get in. They stole a small amount of cash, two satnavs used by delivery drivers, an electrical saw and electrical testing equipment.
The burglary at the specialist furniture shop also caused about £1,000 worth of damage.
In October thieves smashed their way into the hospice shop at Blucher Street, in Barnsley, which is also a furniture store, causing £800 of damage. Just two days before it had been awarded first prize in the Barnsley Civic Trust’s Shop Awards
In September just about £500 was taken from the shop in Wombwell and in February the shop in Penistone was targeted.
Dawn Charlesworth, retail services manager for the hospice, said: “Altogether the cost of these break-ins is nearly £6,000. We are insured, but we still lose money because we have to close the shop and clear up.
“It’s also extremely demoralising for our volunteers. They put so much effort into helping raise money for the hospice and then someone comes along and does this.”
Barnsley Hospice receives £1.6m from the NHS each year, but has to raise an additional £1.9m to stay open. It has nine retail shops, including the two furniture stores, which raise about £900,000 a year.
“It is a particularly difficult time at the moment, because like all charity shops we have seen a fall in donations because of the recession. But we can’t let these break-ins deter us,” said Dawn, who said that security of the shops was regularly reviewed.
“The money the shops raise is vital to the hospice and we need people to keep donating goods.”
Dawn Charlesworth can be contacted on 07501225913 or at dawn.charlesworth@barnsley-hospice.org
Additional media contact: Laura Conrad, hospice policy and marketing officer, on 077 4509 4433, or Kate Betts on 01226 766900 or 07910 165 444 or at kate@katebettsmedia.co.uk

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