Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Barnsley Hospice charity shops robbed for fourth time

Raiders have targeted the same charity in Barnsley for a fourth time in less than a year.

Up to £9,000 worth of damage is estimated to have been caused during the break-ins at Barnsley Hospice's shops, since February.

In the latest, last Friday at the furniture store in Stairfoot, the raiders caused up to £8,000 of damage and stole various items and cash.

The hospice's three other stores have been targeted in the last nine months.

The charity's Penistone shop was the first to be targeted last February, then in September about £500 was stolen from the store in Wombwell.

Last month, thieves smashed their way into the hospice's shop at Blucher Street, Barnsley, causing £800 of damage, just two days before it had was awarded first prize in the Barnsley Civic Trust's Shop Awards.

Referring to the latest raid, Dawn Charlesworth, retail services manager, said: "It's devastating when something like this happens. They tipped the shop upside down."

She said the hospice had recently conducted a thorough security check at all their stores.

The burglars had removed tiles and a very large and heavy section of timber from the roof to break in.

Ms Charlesworth said: "The [thieves] taking this money [are not just taking it] from the hospice, they're taking this money from the people of Barnsley.

"It costs us £8,500 a day to run the hospice so they're depriving their own community of that service.

"The impact of this is that we have to work extra hard to regain that money."

Barnsley Hospice receives £1.6m of funding from the NHS each year, but has to raise an additional £1.9m to stay open.

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