Charity staff left devastated after break-in

Seaham's Shaw Trust charity has been targeted for the third time by vandals.
Team leader Honor Maddison and superviser Craig Darwin with service users
Seaham's Shaw Trust charity has been targeted for the third time by vandals. Team leader Honor Maddison and superviser Craig Darwin with service users

Staff at a charity which helps adults with learning disabilities have been “devastated” after a break-in.

Damage costing thousands of pounds was caused to the Shaw Trust’s base in Parkside, Seaham, in the latest attack.

Some of the damage caused to a door at the Shaw Trust's centre in Seaham.

Some of the damage caused to a door at the Shaw Trust's centre in Seaham.

The site, which is also home to a nursery and garden centre, was targeted on Tuesday night for the third time in recent months.

Items taken include clients’ property including pencil cases and a charity collection tin belonging to the trust.

Police say four people entered the Heathway site and entered a series of buildings, as well as a canteen, before leaving in a vehicle.

Phil Wood, the charity’s enterprise manager, said: “We are devastated that a group of people think that it is acceptable to continue to do this to us.

We are devastated that a group of people think that it is acceptable to continue to do this to us.

Phil Wood

“We are a charity and this will have massive effect on our service users and their families.

“On each occasion these unscrupulous people have broken into our project they have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage, which are struggling to continually cover the costs of repairs.

“We do not keep money on site and the thieves have sunk so low as to take the charity tin.

“We hope that they are feeling very proud of themselves.”

A window smashed in the break in.

A window smashed in the break in.

He added that if anyone can help identify who the group of people is and has any information to call police or the trust on 0300 7900535.

Durham Constabulary has said the break in happened at around 9pm, with access gained from the read of the centre.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting incident number 523 of July 25.