Youngsters’ summer trip cancelled after fundraising cash stolen in Hartlepool break-in

Mark Ashman, Kelsey Crowe, Nadine Langley and Andrew Miller at Jutland Road Community Centre
Mark Ashman, Kelsey Crowe, Nadine Langley and Andrew Miller at Jutland Road Community Centre

YOUNGSTERS looking forward to a summer day trip have been left devastated after fundraising cash was taken in a break-in.

Staff at the Owton Fens Community Association discovered around £450 had been taken over the weekend when they opened up their Jutland Road Community Centre base on Monday morning.

The money had been saved up over the last 12 months, and had been set aside to fund a trip to Flamingoland for the youngsters who regularly use youth clubs operating out of the centre.

Mark Ashman, community development officer for OFCA, says unless the money is replaced then the day trip will not be taking place.

Mark, 32, said; “We’re gutted, because that money has been raised over the last year.

“We put money in there when the kids pay for things like sessions at the youth club or the tuck shop, and we pay for various stock and things like that out of it.

“Every penny goes towards the kids, so it’s them that miss out.”

Other than the cash, the bulk of which was locked away in a drawer and the rest in the back of a filing cabinet, nothing else was taken.

The only sign of a break-in was a window at the side of the building which was slightly open.

Mark added: “Whoever has been in has left things like our camera gear and computer equipment, they have just taken the money.

“It wasn’t as if it was left out on show either, it was locked away. Nothing else has been touched, there is no damage, it’s just the money which is missing.

“We had planned to take the children to Flamingoland at the end of the summer holidays with that money.

“We will try and raise the money again as quickly as we can, but I doubt we will be able to get enough to pay for a trip in such a short space of time.”

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “We received a report of a theft from Jutland Road Community Centre on Monday morning and are investigating.”

Anyone with any information which could help the police with their investigation can contact the non-emergency number 101.