HEARTLESS thieves who stole jewellery made by adults with learning disabilities have been condemned by carers.
The members of Cleadon Park Community Base had spent weeks creating the trinkets as part of a fundraising drive for their group.
But their efforts were dashed when the hand-crafted items were swiped from Cleadon Park Primary Care Centre in Prince Edward Road, South Shields, where they were on display.
Claire Reid, a care assistant for the group, slammed the callous thieves.
She said: “I walked into work, and didn’t notice that anything was missing.
“Then one of my colleagues told me it looked like some of the items of jewellery had disappeared.
“When I went back to look, I couldn’t believe it – almost all of it had gone.
“I was so shocked, I couldn’t believe anyone would steal things that were there for a good cause.”
The group has been going for two years and has nine members with a range of learning difficulties, who were hoping to sell their creations to help fund Christmas activities.
The 45-year-old added: “They have been working for weeks, having craft lessons and learning how to make their own jewellery.
“They were so proud with what they created, they decided to put them on display and try to sell them.
“Some of the items were really nice and Christmassy, like wreaths, cards and reindeer dust.”
The goods were on show at the library in the centre, and went missing overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday.
“I was furious when I saw they had gone. Who could do something like this? I just can’t believe it,” Mrs Reid said.
“Whoever did it might think that it doesn’t mean much, but it does to me and it does to our members.
“When I told them, their faces dropped – they just don’t understand why it has happened.”
“How low can you get? Do these people have any feelings or do they think it is a big joke?
“Next time they think of doing something like this, I hope they stop and think about who it will affect.”