Charity volunteers forced to clean up after vandal raids bins

Volunteers supporting families in need were left horrified after finding their bins had been ransacked and rubbish strewn across the yard where they are based.

By Lisa Nightingale
Tuesday, 26 February, 2019, 05:00
The rubbish left dumped in the yard of Hebburn Helps

Angie Comerford and Jo Durkin of Hebburn Helps, should have been spending time preparing themselves for their presentation to councillors at a Community Area Forum meeting in Hebburn.

Instead, the pair spent that time tidying up the mess left behind by a vandal who had emptied the contents of their bins, leaving dumped rubbish in the yard within the grounds of South Tyneside Children’s Centre.

Angie Comerford (42) team leader at Hebburn Helps. Picture by FRANK REID

It is thought the culprit struck in the early hours of the morning, between midnight on Sunday and 2am Monday, after CCTV footage caught a shadowy figure near to the area.

Angie, co-founder of Hebburn Helps, said: “As soon as we came in we saw it. It’s a disgrace someone would come in and do that.

“We’ve checked the CCTV and you can see them going in the bins and pulling stuff out.

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“We had to get it cleaned up as it was a mess, we couldn’t have just left it.

“There are a lot more better things we could have been doing with our time than cleaning up after vandals.”

Hebburn Helps collects donated items of food, clothing and other essentials and distributes them to families struggling to make ends meet.

The group, run by Angie and Jo, is run solely with the help of volunteers.

The pair are asking people in the area to remain vigilant and to report anything suspicious to Hebburn Helps.