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Youth charity has thousands of pounds of equipment stolen in burglary

PUBLISHED: 17:06 21 April 2018 | UPDATED: 17:06 21 April 2018

Thetford based Inspire Focus is the brainchild of Carla and Joe Barreto. Photo: Sonya Duncan

Thetford based Inspire Focus is the brainchild of Carla and Joe Barreto. Photo: Sonya Duncan

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

A youth charity which recently marked its first anniversary is appealing for help after thieves stole thousands of pounds worth of equipment.

Youth charity Inspire Focus had £8,500 worth of technology and material stolen. This is the window thieves broke to gain access to the building. Photo: Inspire FocusYouth charity Inspire Focus had £8,500 worth of technology and material stolen. This is the window thieves broke to gain access to the building. Photo: Inspire Focus

Video cameras, 3D cameras and computers were among the items taken as well as drives containing more than a year’s work from the volunteers and young people who work with the organisation.

Inspire Focus works with young people into education, careers and volunteering and has been calling St Peter’s Church on Whitehart Street, Thetford, home since October.

Founder and chairman Joe Barreto said: “For me it’s not the £8,500 of equipment which was taken but also the hard work and material on the drives that is gone which is the most heartbreaking.

“The young people worked so hard to create the material and that can’t be replaced.”

Youth charity Inspire Focus had £8,500 worth of technology and material stolen. This is the window thieves broke to gain access to the building. Photo: Inspire FocusYouth charity Inspire Focus had £8,500 worth of technology and material stolen. This is the window thieves broke to gain access to the building. Photo: Inspire Focus

The church which houses Inspire Focus also suffered around £5,000 in flood damage which Mr Barreto explained they are just bouncing back from.

The 14th century building had been empty for nine years before the charity took up residence had weakened lead and an entire window broken and removed by the thieves.

“They just did what they wanted,” said Mr Barreto.

“We are going through a negative spot but we are very stubborn and persistent people.

“Inspire Focus is not going to go down that easy and young people deserve better than this and I am going to keep on going.”

The organisation is working towards holding the first annual Iceni International Film Festival in September to broadcast short films from its beneficiaries.

The burglary took place sometime between the evening of Wednesday April 18 and the morning of Friday April 20.

Inspire Focus have asked the public to keep an eye out for items such as Sony 4K video cameras, 3D cameras, hard drives, discs and computers which can be identified with the organisation’s name and code.

People can also call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Those interested in helping or volunteering with Inspire Focus should visit their website at www.inspirefocus.co.uk

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