Help on hand after raiders hit South Tyneside disabled project

Staff at a gardening project which was ransacked by thieves have been overwhelmed by people's kindness and generosity.

Friday, 17th March 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:05 am
Holder House Gardening Project donation. From left People's Angel's Alison Davis and Lynn Davis with project manager Chris Convery

Donations of gardening equipment have flooded in to Holder House Allotment Project since criminals raiding the site in Whiteleas earlier this month.

The scheme provides a place for people with learning disabilities to go to learn about horticulture and boost their confidence and independence.

Chris Convery after the break in

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A project they had been working on had to be halted after criminals broke in - smashing their way into cabins storing equipment and escaping with more than £10,000 worth of goods including lawn mowers, saws, strimmers and wood.

Following an appeal, staff say they have been overwhelmed by the generosity shown by people.

Yesterday, the community group People’s Angels gave the project a helping hand with a donation of equipment including wheelbarrows, a rotavator, lawn mower and £50.

Holder house director Ann Marie Pape said: “We have been overwhelmed by the donations we have received. The raid had a huge impact on our service users, many whome have learning and physical disabilities.

Chris Convery after the break in

“They couldn’t understand why people would steal from them.

“People have been extremely generous and they have all helped to put a smile back on their faces.”

Donations to the project were also made by the Thompson, Buzzard and Ross families and Newcastle University.

A secure place away from the site has now been found where equipment will now be stored and security has also being stepped up on the site.

Lynn Davis, from the People’s Angels, which raises funds for good causes, said: “We’d seen what had happened at the project and it is sucha fantastic project, we didn’t want the people who access the site to suffer.

The People’s Angels raises funds for good causes in the community.