Donors hand over £1,000 to burglary-hit charity ransacked by thieves

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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KIND-HEARTED fundraisers have handed over more than £1,000 to a charity ransacked by two callous burglars.

Members of the family-run Jacob’s Well Care Centre, in Toronto Place, Gosport, have been bowled over by the response after the break-in.

Lorraine and Stuart Pottinger outside Jacob's Well Care Centre in Toronto Place in Gosport after it was burgled

Lorraine and Stuart Pottinger outside Jacob's Well Care Centre in Toronto Place in Gosport after it was burgled

CCTV revealed how a brick was hurled through the charity’s office window before a thief stole three laptops, a charity tin and caused damage to a tea machine.

The heartless thief, aided by an accomplice, rifled through the office – leaving a mess and shards of glass for the charity to clear up.

Hard work by Lorraine Pottinger, 47, and her dad and chief executive Stuart, 70, who co-founded the centre with his wife Angela 26 years ago, meant it has continued to help the needy.

Speaking about the donations, Lorranie said: ‘I can’t believe it – it’s more than the money it’s the stories people have posted about how we’ve helped them in the past.

‘It’s just such a positive thing. My parents have been crying – my mum has been at home and it’s really lifted her up.’

Yesterday £1,034 had been donated by 34 people via a crowdfunding page set up by Lorraine’s daughter 27-year-old Cherish.

Police are investigating the burglary which happened Thursday night into Friday morning, and the arson of two vans worth up to £3,000 outside Toronto Place Tyres.

Charity bosses fear the arson is linked, with the fire lit as a means of blocking access to the rest of the street.

Lorraine said: ‘It’s just like a kick in the teeth to us. But we will be back from it.’

The charity has been left with needing to replace the laptops and fix a tea machine damaged when the thieves tried to get coins out of it.

Lorraine added: ‘Why cause that carnage?

‘If they had turned up and said “we don’t have anything” then we’ve got electric for people, gas for people, we’ve paid people’s rents and we’ve got clothes for people. They could have come to us and we’d have 100 per cent helped without any questions.

‘That’s what hurts, why turn up and cause so much damage and carnage? It’s unnecessary.’

Jacob’s Well gives food to families in need on a daily basis, helps people back into work and offers workshop projects. Its furniture showroom funds its work.

It helps social services kit out homes with furniture for those in desperate need.

Stuart added: ‘We won’t stop helping people – we never have done.’

Quote 44180212814 for the burglary and 44180212905 for the fire on Friday at 2.30am.