Charity shop broken into and cash stolen by thieves

PUBLISHED: 16:12 11 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:46 11 April 2019

Weston Hospicecare’s retail director Gemma Turner (left), area manager Lisa Johns (centre) and shop manager Harriett Peacock (right) pictured outside the Yatton shop. Picture: Weston Hospicecare

Weston Hospicecare's retail director Gemma Turner (left), area manager Lisa Johns (centre) and shop manager Harriett Peacock (right) pictured outside the Yatton shop. Picture: Weston Hospicecare

Weston Hospicecare

Thieves broke into a charity shop in Yatton overnight, stealing vital cash and causing a significant amount of damage.

Weston Hospicecare’s retail director Gemma Turner (left), area manager Lisa Johns (centre) and shop manager Harriett Peacock (right) pictured outside the Yatton shop. Picture: Weston HospicecareWeston Hospicecare’s retail director Gemma Turner (left), area manager Lisa Johns (centre) and shop manager Harriett Peacock (right) pictured outside the Yatton shop. Picture: Weston Hospicecare

Raids in Milton and Clevedon in previous weeks had dented Weston Hospicecare’s coffers and thieves stole money from Yatton’s shop last night (Wednesday).

A fundraising appeal to try to retrieve some of the money the hospice has lost is underway.

Weston Hospicecare cares for terminally ill patients, many in their final days, but it again is counting the cost of a burglary this week.

Thieves broke into the High Street shop, pinching the till’s float. No takings are kept at hospice premises overnight.

However, the shop was damaged during the raid, with locks forced and furniture broken.

Gemma Turner, the hospice’s retail director, says the loss of trade and the repair bill will leave the charity thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Ms Turner said: “The effect of the cruel break-ins in recent months has meant we have had to spend thousands on repairs and security upgrades while losing trade when the affected shops can’t open.

“Our insurance cover, which does partly cover some of the cost of the break-in, will also rise in price.

“The money raised in all our shops usually goes directly towards funding the amazing expert and compassionate care our doctors, nurses and medical consultants deliver day-in, day-out.

“However, we now have to find the money to fund these essential repairs meaning it is the patients who will ultimately miss out in the long run.

“It’s clear, for whatever reason, our shops are being targeted. Usually we rely on the kindness of our amazing community, who have been there for us over our 30-year history, for support.

“The Yatton shop will remain closed for the rest of the day while we arrange repairs to the shop to make sure we can reopen for business as soon as possible.

It is the third time this year the hospice has experienced a burglary.

Its Milton Road store was raided on February 13-14 and at the start of March its shop in Clevedon’s Triangle was targeted.

The Yatton shop’s manager Harriett Peacock, who discovered the crime scene, cannot understand why anyone would want to target charity shops.

She said: “I just can’t understand why anyone would want to do this to us. I am very disappointed and shocked.

“We are here to help our local community by raising money to support expert care given to those who really need it at the most difficult time of their lives.

“I know all our kind-hearted volunteers and wonderful customers for this shop will be devastated and it means neither can come back until we are back open.”

Anyone wishing to donate to the hospice’s appeal to pay for repairs can do so online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/wh-shopappeal

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