Ram-raiders smash through not-for-profit building causing thousands of pounds worth of damage
- Credit: Alexandra Cosgrove
The front of a storage facility for a not-for-profit gardening organisation has been completely destroyed by ram-raiders, with thieves stealing a number of expensive items of equipment.
Thousands of pounds worth of hardware had been damaged and stolen from the headquarters of The Grow Organisation and Mow and Grow, in Bowthorpe, Norwich, where thieves cut through a heavy gate before smashing through a garage door.
Chief executive Alexandra Cosgrove said the break-in happened at around 10.05pm on Saturday night and after rushing to the scene of the crime she was left devastated to find the destruction left behind.
The garage door has been torn in half and shards of glass lay on the ground after the perpetrators shattered the window of a van.
Among the stolen items were hedge cutters, a pole saw and pruner, with the raid leaving two ride-on mowers severely damaged.
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'A considerable amount of machinery was damaged in the ram raid, other hand operated tools were thrown in the back of a vehicle,' Mrs Cosgrove said.
'We are a social enterprise delivering garden services to vulnerable people and we are not cash rich.'
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The organisation relies on public donations to be able to deliver gardening projects which aims to help people suffering from mental health issues including PTSD.
The Mow and Grow social enterprise delivers garden services to vulnerable people and the Grow Hub delivers well-being activities to the local community, veterans and emergency service personnel.
Mrs Cosgrove said: 'Sadly the human cost of this appalling raid far outweighs what was stolen.
'Clearly without equipment we are unable to operate and without funds we cannot continue in business.
'We are still in the process of counting losses and digesting this incident.
'We would like to pass on our heartfelt thank you to Norfolk Police specifically PC Mark Cushing, the trades who have been in contact and members of the public who have started donating funds on our website.'
Jon Watson, a close friend and supporter of the organisation, from Bowthorpe, has set up a Crowdfunding page to help raise funds for the organisation.
To donate, visit: www.gofundme.com/support-the-grow-centre.