Burglary at The Butterfield Centre in North Road, Bourne
A charity which provides a vital service to the community has been targeted by thieves.
The Butterfield Centre in Bourne, which supports elderly and vulnerable people, was ransacked during the night leaving trustees 'heartbroken'.
When Jenny Peel went to open the centre in North Road this morning (April 6), she was faced with the destruction caused by thieves.
She said: "It's horrible. We are a charity and people give their time to deliver meals and run the pantry so it feels absolutely devastating people have done this.
"They ransacked all of our offices and the care advice office.
"The damage will take a lot of money to fix."
It is believed that a crowbar was used to gain access to the premises and the building's fire extinguishers were used to smash glass.
The building is owned by Lincolnshire County Council but for the last 10 years the centre has relied entirely on public donations and payments from clients, which has seen it put under financial pressure. Its current services include daycare, meals on wheels, a lunch club and a community pantry.
As a result of the break in, the friendship lunch club has been cancelled and the pantry is closed today. Volunteers were able to clean the kitchen so meals on wheels will be going out as normal.
Since sharing the sad news the centre has been inundated with people offering their help to tidy the building after the scene has been examined by police.
"We are always grateful to the community of Bourne, it is just sad someone from our community could have done this damage," said Jenny.
The centre was planning on holding an Easter raffle to raise funds, but the prizes, including alcohol, were taken by the thieves.
The fridges were left open leaving the food to spoil and the cupboards were emptied. It is also believed the burglars attempted to take the safe but were unsuccessful.
The Butterfield Centre was targeted by thieves a couple of weeks who broke in and drank alcohol which was also set to be used in a raffle.
Jenny believes they were drunken teenagers and described this week's burglary as 'a lot worse'.
"It's so heartbreaking," she said.
The Butterfield Centre will be accepting donations to help repair the damage which people can make by calling 01778 421422 tomorrow morning (April 7).
Anyone with information on the incident on the burglary should contact Lincolnshire Police on 101 quoting incident 73 of April 6.