‘It looked like the aftermath of a hurricane’: charity bounces back after burglary

Headway senior occupational therapist Angela Page. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

Headway senior occupational therapist Angela Page. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

A brain injury charity has fought back after a burglary which left its office looking like “the aftermath of a hurricane”.

Thieves broke into Headway charity on Rosebery Road. Picture: Headway

Thieves broke into Headway charity on Rosebery Road. Picture: Headway - Credit: Archant

Thieves smashed through a window and broke into Headway on Rosebery Road in Norwich overnight in July.

They turned “the whole place upside down” and stole a laptop, a tablet and £40 in cash.

Angela Page, a senior occupational therapist at Headway, said staff were devastated when they learnt about the break-in.

She said: “We were all in total disbelief that someone would try to get into a charity building and think that anything valuable would be contained in these offices. We also don’t keep any client or confidential information there either.”

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But Ms Page said they did not anticipate the extent of the mess left by the thieves, which took a whole morning to clean.

She said: “It looked like the aftermath of a hurricane. They smashed a window and, when we walked in, there was broken glass everywhere among the files which we had to pick up. It was a real mess. We spent hours in the morning tidying everything up and we are still sorting everything out now.”

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Ms Page said the items stolen, which were second hand, were not valuable - but the real cost was time.

She said: “It was really difficult as we were trying to keep going during coronavirus and the theft was another strain. We wanted to spend time working with clients rather than sorting through an office.”

Staff at Headway set up a fundraiser to cover the costs of the stolen items, which have not yet been recovered, and damage.

And in less than a month, people have donated more than £1,400, smashing the initial target of £1,000.

Ms Page said: “The reaction from people has been heartwarming and the response came through so quickly. We have received so many positive comments about how valuable our service is.

“We were up and running basically straight away after the burglary and we have never stopped supporting clients, both during the pandemic and the theft. We just had to think outside of the box and find ways to help people in different ways.”

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rosie-dunthorne2

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