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Anger after burglars strike at Sunderland’s Betsy Jenny Wellbeing Cafe which helps customers with free mental health support

Police have launched an investigation after a Sunderland city centre cafe, which provides free wellbeing services to customers, was broken into.

Friday, 27th May 2022, 12:12 pm

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The Betsy Jenny Wellbeing Cafe was burgled during the early hours of Wednesday, May 25.
The Betsy Jenny Wellbeing Cafe was burgled during the early hours of Wednesday, May 25.

It is reported that the Betsy Jenny Wellbeing Café, on Bridge Street, was burgled during the early hours of Wednesday, May 25.

Those responsible have smashed the lower window of the front door to gain access to the venue before making off with the till.

Those responsible smashed the bottom window of the front door to gain access to the cafe.

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Charlotte Wasey, the manager of the cafe, has highlighted how much of an impact the incident will have on the services that the business offers.

She said: “It is getting worse, businesses in the city centre are being targeted all the time now, especially around the Mackie's Corner, yet nothing is being done about it.

"As we are a non-profit business, everything we make goes back into the running of the cafe so when we need to pay for things like a new till, we simply can’t afford it.

"Because of this, it takes away from the services that we offer such as the free counselling sessions as they are not cheap to run."

An online fundraiser has been set up with the aim of raising £3,500 to have a security shutter installed.

An online fundraiser has been set up with the aim of raising £3,500 for a security shutter to be installed, in the hopes that it will act as a deterrent in the future.

Charlotte added: “Everyone is appalled at what has happened, customers have been coming in and donating money as they need our services to survive.

"We are just gobsmacked that it has actually happened especially as we are here to help people out when they need it most.

"Staff are now nervous when coming to work early in the morning in case someone is watching us, it is not a nice feeling.”

Thieves stole the till from the cafe which the cost of replacing means there could be an impact on counselling services.

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A spokesperson for Northumbria Police commented: “Shortly before 2am on May 25, police received a report of a burglary at Betsy Jenny Wellbeing Café on Bridge Street, Sunderland.

“It was reported that those responsible entered through a window and stole a quantity of cash.

“An investigation has been launched and anyone with any information is asked to get in touch using reference number 060934D/22.”