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Community responds with generous donations after burglary at Don't Lose Hope in Bourne

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Criminals left a charity founder shocked by stealing tools used by the people he helps.

Don’t Lose Hope supports mental health through counselling, a café in the town centre, and a community garden at the Wellhead.

On Thursday last week, youths tried to break into the café after getting on to the building’s roof.

The Don't Lose Hope community garden in Bourne
The Don't Lose Hope community garden in Bourne

Then, on Good Friday, a shed in the community garden was broken into and tools worth hundreds of pounds were stolen.

Dom Brister, whose wife Nicola founded Don’t Lose Hope, said: “I’m shocked and surprised that they targeted a charity but also feel we have had an awesome response from members of the community, who have donated more than £1,000.

“It has been humbling.”

As well as people donating to a GoFundMe page and bringing in cash donations, Dom said people have donated replacement gardening, hand and power tools.

These included a carving chainsaw similar to the one Dom used to recently create a large woodcarving from a tree trunk of the children’s book character The Gruffalo.

As well as larger tools, and garden shears and secateurs, thieves took new Black and Decker toolboxes which were still in their packaging and due to be given to young adults who are currently being taught tool skills. Each box was worth about £250.

Some of the tools have been found discarded in a Bourne park.

Don’t Lose Hope, which has provided 22,000 hours of counselling since it was registered as a charity in 2018, has been able to continue its support sessions at the community garden since the theft.

Anyone with information on the crime can contact Lincolnshire Police on 101 quoting incident 128 of April 16.

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