Staff at the Carers’ Centre have said they are shocked and saddened following the discovery on Wednesday that thieves had targeted their charity minibus, taking all its tyres and a wing mirror.
The Ford Transit minibus is primarily used to take young carers on trips and activities, and the theft has put in jeopardy the activities planned for next week’s half term.
The bus is clearly branded as part of the Centre and includes the phrase ‘support for carers of all ages’ on its windows.
Young carers are children and young people who are looking after someone like a sick parent or disabled sibling. The young carers’ service provides breaks, support, counselling and advice for kids and families.
Steve Newman, the charity’s Young Carers Officer, said: “I’ve spent a lot of work hours organising next week’s activities, planning the trips and making the most out of the bus so the most young people can have a break.
“Now we’ve had to let people down, spend over £1,000 on replacement coaches and created a lot more work for the whole team. It’s incredibly disappointing, and sends a very poor message to the children and young people we work with.”
Development Manager Janine Woodward-Grant echoed Steve’s sentiments, saying: “What does this say about how our community values carers and young carers?”
The estimated cost to replace the tyres and repair the van is over £2,000. The Centre will be implementing increased security measures.
“We want people to feel this is a safe place to come and visit and we will be taking further precautions in the future.”