Charity staff 'distraught' after two break-ins

Rotherham charity staff said they were left “distraught” after two break-ins at their office on consecutive nights.

Rotherham Parents Forum Limited (RPFL) is run from an office on Green Lane in Rawmarsh.

Staff found a smashed window and broken door when they arrived at the property on Tuesday, then on Wednesday discovered a second break-in with more damage to the building and items stolen from a garden cabin.

RPFL operations director Louise Graham said: "It feels like they couldn’t get what they wanted first night so came back second night better prepared."

RPFL is a small charity that offers support to families of children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities.

The group was originally set up in 2009 and is still run by parents whose own children have special educational needs. It became a registered charity in 2011.

The door of the garden cabin used for charity meetings was found smashed open on Tuesday morning.

Then on Wednesday Claire Callear, who works with RPFL, discovered that the door which had been boarded up was now ripped off its hinges with several items missing including a TV, a fridge and tea and coffee caddies.

Ms Callear said she felt “sickened” by the damage.

“I noticed the door on the floor and feel shaken, it’s the violation that gets you."

A double door has one half missing and one half boarded up
The garden cabin used by RPFL for meetings was broken into with a TV and fridge stolen from inside [Simon Thake]

The charity announced the double break-in on its Facebook page and members of the community have offered help and support.

A local handyman has boarded up the broken windows and a local resident has offered to provide CCTV to the charity.

Ms Graham confirmed that the break-ins had been reported to South Yorkshire Police but acknowledged that the distress from the incidents was "felt strongly" by all staff.

She said: "It’s really emotional, we support local families and are trying to do nice things.

"Who would do something to a charitable organisation like ours? It's disgusting."

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