Heartbreak as Gosport charity is broken into after Christmas party

A CHARITY in Gosport has been broken into overnight '“ less than 12 hours after holding a Christmas party for the local community.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 23rd December 2018, 12:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:45 am
Co-founders Shaz Bannister, left, and Charlie Reilly after the break-in at Square Pegs charity shop, Gosport  Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Co-founders Shaz Bannister, left, and Charlie Reilly after the break-in at Square Pegs charity shop, Gosport Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Square Pegs in North Cross Street, Gosport, fell victim to a break-in last night, causing damages of around £600 in the process.

The incident has also forced the charity to cancel a fundraiser that was due to take place today, which it is believed has cost them hundreds more.

Square Pegs is a charity that aims to tackle social isolation and wellbeing problems in the community, holding a number of different workshops for residents.

Some of the damage done to the Square Pegs centre in North Cross Street, Gosport. Picture: Supplied

Founder Charlie Reilly says she is '˜devastated' by what's happened.

She explained: '˜We did a massive Christmas party for people last night, then came in this morning to see that someone had tried to break in overnight.

'˜Thankfully, they haven't managed to get through and trash the inside of the building, but they have completely trashed our entrance so that will need to be replaced.

'˜We were also due to have a fundraising day at Asda today, but have sadly had to cancel that too.

'˜I'm absolutely devastated that someone has done something like this '“ I feel awful because it impacts more than just us, but the people that use the charity as well.'

The news comes after a break-in at Victoriana's Cafe in Bemister Lane on December 17, followed by Queens Parade News in Privett Road.

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Fellow charity Marvels and Meltdowns was also targeted earlier this year, with the minibus being torched and a handful of break-ins.

Charlie says that Square Pegs has lost around £1,000 as a result of the incident

She said: '˜I just don't understand '“ there's nothing valuable in here for people to take.

'˜The door and doorframe will need replacing, but we don't know if there are any extra hidden costs yet.

'˜The biggest thing for us is that it has stopped us from doing our fundraising. We were hoping to get about £400 from the event at Asda, so losing that and having to shell out for a new entrance has cost the charity around £1,000.

'˜It's heartbreaking because we had come off such a high from last night, where we had a brilliant Christmas party and so many smiling faces, to turning up this morning and seeing the damage that has been done overnight.

'˜The bottom line for us is that we're a charity '“ we're not exactly minted. Things like this will have a massive impact on a group like ours.'

Anyone with information about the incident can call 101, quoting the crime reference number 44180474341.

If you would like to donate to the charity, you can go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/SquarePegsCharity.