Autism and ADHD charity left 'devastated' after being targeted by vandals twice in two nights

A Gosport charity has been targeted by mindless vandalism twice in two nights over the weekend as bikes and guinea pig hutches were damaged.Â

Monday, 23rd July 2018, 1:32 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd July 2018, 2:39 pm
Volunteers had to search to find the guinea pigs after their hutch was damaged.

Volunteers arrived at the Marvels and Meltdowns centre, in Mill Lane, on Sunday morning to find out it had been ransacked. 

The charity offers support to families with children affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and autism. 

Both of Marvels and Meltdowns' sheds had been broken into by the vandals and the contents strewn across the lawn. Some of the items had been stolen. 

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Chargers left behind at the scene

The guinea pig hutches had been kicked in, water bottles were thrown away and volunteers had to search to find the animals. One was under the hutch and the other hidden under the straw inside the hutch. 

Children's bikes had also been thrown across the grounds and some have been damaged. 

Nikki Martin, the charity secretary, said: '˜I had been in a church service with my children and I came out of the service to 40 odd messages, we have a Whatsapp group. First off it was pictures of the children's bikes thrown everywhere, then I saw the guinea pig cage and my heart started to sink. 

'˜I was devastated. We have spent a whole year getting the centre up to the standard we wanted. We are all volunteers and we have tried to make a safe place for the community. 

Children's bikes were damaged by the vandals

'˜I don't condone what they have done at all. It is just mindless vandalism for no reason. It is heartbreaking.

'We had a party booked in yesterday. If we hadn't had the party, we probably wouldn't have found out until Monday.' 

She added: '˜The community has just been absolutely amazing. The outpouring of support has been incredible, on our Facebook page we have had 50,000 views on just one post with hundreds of shares and comments. 

'˜We set up a fundraising page to get CCTV cameras, a company has agreed to give them to us. 

'˜It just goes to show there's faith in humanity.

'˜I can see us having cameras everywhere by the end of the week. You can't be too safe. 

'˜We are going to get the sheds reinforced.' 

Vandals also targeted the Marvels and Meltdowns sensory garden, pulling plants out of their pots as well as ripping down bird feeders and emptying them. 

Members of the community have offered to donate plants to the charity to help them replace the ones damaged during the ransacking. 

The vandals then targeted the charity again on Sunday night, breaking into the sheds. 

Pictures taken by Marvels and Meltdown at the scene show what appears to be extension cables and chargers left behind by the perpetrators. 

The charity's JustGiving page has already raised £1,232 and donations can be made by clicking the link here