Gosport charity staff say they will not be beaten by vandals

PLEA From left, Carolyn Scott, Melanie Whitfield-Tinkler and Ellie Corp launch their appeal for donations after their centre was trashed. Picture: Malcolm Wells (123056-9539)
PLEA From left, Carolyn Scott, Melanie Whitfield-Tinkler and Ellie Corp launch their appeal for donations after their centre was trashed. Picture: Malcolm Wells (123056-9539)

Roof-running louts reported in Cowplain

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CHARITY workers whose base was wrecked by vandals have launched a break-in appeal to help them get back on their feet.

The Harbour Cancer Support Centre in Gosport provides a safe haven for people whose lives are affected by cancer.

But on Friday the centre, at the town’s bus station, was broken into and wrecked, as reported in The News.

Vandals smashed windows, ripped sofas, and threw plant soil and coffee over the walls.

Now the centre’s staff have been forced to shut their base for at least a week.

They have now launched a break-in appeal to help with the cost of the damage.

And they are urging people to donate to help them get their doors open again.

Melanie Whitfield-Tinkler, the director of the centre, said: ‘We won’t be beaten by people like this.

‘The support we have been shown by people already has been great.

‘Donations that have already come in have made us feel appreciated.

‘The charity is insured but we are still going to be considerably out of pocket.

‘That’s why we have launched the break-in appeal.

‘Everyone is still feeling a bit low at the moment and it was a very hard decision to shut for the week because we feel like we’re letting our clients down.

‘But we won’t be beaten and we will carry on.’

The vandals broke furniture, ripped items from walls and smashed crockery.

One of the damaged items was a painting done by a former visitor to the centre who had recently died.

Staff have been forced to cancel appointments and coffee mornings for people with cancer this week.

If you want to help the centre, you can donate online by visiting justgiving.com/Ian-Whitfield-Tinkler.

People can also text the message HCSC01£5 to 70070 to donate £5.

Donations can be paid directly to the centre’s bank using account number 43660894 
and sort code 09-06-66.

n A 13-year-old boy and two 15-year-old boys were arrested on suspicion of theft and criminal damage.

All three have been bailed until October 13 pending further enquiries. Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.