Portsmouth charity left with huge repair bill after property is damaged

Family services manager Melanie Goddard surveys the damaged wall at the back of the Roberts Centre in Portsmouth 'Picture Ian Hargreaves  (15roberts-5)
Family services manager Melanie Goddard surveys the damaged wall at the back of the Roberts Centre in Portsmouth 'Picture Ian Hargreaves (15roberts-5)

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  • Portsmouth charity left reeling after back wall is left badly damaged
  • Roberts Centre quoted more than £1,500 to take down wall and put up a new one
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A CHARITY that supports vulnerable people is counting the cost after a wall outside its offices was badly damaged.

The Roberts Centre, in Crasswell Street, Landport, Portsmouth, has been left to foot a repair bill, which will likely cost more than £1,500, after no-one took responsibilty for how the damage happened.

It is sad that whoever hit the wall didn’t feel they could say sorry it was an accident.

Carole Damper, chief executive officer of The Roberts Centre

Staff were told by two members of the public who were passing by that a huge crack had appeared across the back wall where the charity’s bins are kept.

The charity has been given a quote of £1,500 to demolish the existing wall and put up a new one – at a time when it is trying to use all its resources to help struggling families.

It is suspected a vehicle hit the wall, and staff are disappointed no-one left a note to own up and apologise.

The incident happened over the weekend.

Carole Damper, chief executive officer of The Roberts Centre, which has been operating in Portsmouth for more than 27 years, said: ‘We are seeing an increasing demand for our services, at a time when there is less money available to us to help people in need.

‘It is only too clear that times are tight, but now more than ever we need all the support we can get to help us prevent more families from losing their homes and to assist those who have.

‘We can claim on our insurance, however this will probably increase our premium at a time when we need every penny we have to carry on providing support to families in the city.

‘It is sad that whoever hit the wall didn’t feel they could say sorry.

‘It was an accident.’

The charity, which supports more than 1,000 families every year, has yet to notify police of the damage.

Part of the wall has already had to be taken down due to safety issues and temporary black fencing has gone up.

Roberts Centre manager Melanie Goddard said: ‘Judging from the amount of damage, we don’t see how it could have been anything but a vehicle that hit the wall.

‘It could have been a lot worse.

‘The wall could had come down on a child and children lean on things all the time.’