Businesses dig deep to help gardening project flourish after break-in

Group administrator Maxine Williamson at Bowthorpe youth and community centre.
Photo: Bill Smith

Group administrator Maxine Williamson at Bowthorpe youth and community centre. Photo: Bill Smith


A gardening project, which lost £15,000 worth of equipment in a burglary, is back on its feet thanks to donations from other businesses.

Mow and Grow in Bowthorpe was raided by burglars between 3pm on Saturday, October 27 and 7am on Monday, October 29.

A £500 donation from Roys supermarket and equipment loaned by agricultural hire company Ben Burgess has meant the social enterprise, which helps ex-offenders, has been able to carry on.

The group’s chief operating officer, Jacqui Starling, said: “The vast majority of our general gardening equipment was stolen, but thanks to Ben Burgess and Roys we have remained operational.”

She added security had now been “significantly” improved at the Bowthorpe Youth and Community Centre site on Bowthorpe Hall Road.

Ben Burgess loaned Mow and Grow equipment to replace the stolen tools.

The company’s managing director, Ben Turner, pictured, said: “We were very pleased to support them and help them out.

“They are one of our customers and we wanted to support them as they are helping out people who come from a disadvantaged background.”

Mow and Grow also received a boost this month by winning the Santander social enterprise development award. The award means it will be given £50,000 towards expanding its gardening business.

Suspects used an acetylene torch to cut padlocks to three large metal containers used to store gardening equipment on the site. They stripped the containers of lawn mowers, hedge trimmers and cutters.

In September, suspects also attempted to break into the containers with an angle grinder, but failed.

Yesterday police appealed for information again.

A police spokesman said: “The investigation is ongoing and we would like to appeal for anyone who believes they may have information, no matter how small they may feel it is, to make contact.

“We do believe that someone must know either where the stolen items are being stored or have been offered the items for sale.”

Contact PC Tomlinson at Earlham Police Station on 101, or call Crimestoppers anony-mously on 0800 555 111.

Do you have a story about Bowthorpe for the Evening News? Contact reporter Tom Bristow on 01603772313 or email

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