Workers at a charity shop which helps provide emotional 24/7 support for people in despair have vowed not to be beaten despite being broken into for the second time in just a few weeks.

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Burglars smashed a side window at the Samaritans shop on Aylsham Road before stealing clothing stock, thought to be worth £300, as well as other items, including tea, coffee, sugar and biscuits provided for staff and volunteers.

The burglary, which happened sometime between 11.30pm on Monday, December 31, and 8.30am on New Year’s Day, has devastated staff, who are still reeling from a previous break-in on November 6.

Tania Lemmon, a supervisor at the shop which sells goods, along with another shop in Westlegate to keep the phone lines open, said: “It’s going to cost us money to make sure we’re not a target again. It’s just so devastating for people who put their time and energy into helping the charity and for the public who generously give donations.”

But Mrs Lemmon who, with others, came in on New Year’s Day to help ensure the shop could reopen added they would not give up.

She said: “I’m not going to be beaten by people who just feel they can do what they want.”

Heather Griffin, deputy director of Norwich Samaritans, said the burglary was so upsetting as the helplines, which could prove a lifeline to those feeling suicidal, relied on funds raised from the two shops.

Police are investigating the burglary and have urged anyone with information to call 101.

To contact the Norwich Samaritans log onto www.norwichsamaritans.org/ or call 01603 611311.

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