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Thieves damage Ipswich charity shop and steal hundreds of pounds leaving staff to foot bill

PUBLISHED: 16:16 08 May 2017 | UPDATED: 17:03 08 May 2017

Volunteers and staff including manager Bob Ransome (far right) at the Sense charity shop in Upper Brook Street, Ipswich. Picture: EMILY TOWNSEND

Volunteers and staff including manager Bob Ransome (far right) at the Sense charity shop in Upper Brook Street, Ipswich. Picture: EMILY TOWNSEND

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Charity bosses say they are “deeply saddened” after burglars ransacked their Ipswich shop just weeks after a mystery donor left them £5,000.

Sense staff outside the charity's Ipswich branch in Lower Brook Street. Picture: EMILY TOWNSENDSense staff outside the charity's Ipswich branch in Lower Brook Street. Picture: EMILY TOWNSEND

Extensive damage – including a large crack in the back door – was done to the Sense charity shop in Upper Brook Street last month, leaving staff with a hefty repair bill.

Thieves also stole more than £500 from the store, which is owned by national charity Sense, set up to support people who are deaf-blind.

Store manager Bob Ransome said he is really upset by the raid – particularly as it comes just a few weeks after a mystery shopper anonymously donated £5,000 to the shop.

He said: “Any instance when money is taken from a charity is upsetting.

“This has been particularly saddening to myself and the staff as it’s an act that comes in such sharp contrast to the generosity of our mystery shopper earlier in the year.

“The proceeds from the sale of donated stock provide vital funds that enable Sense to support deaf-blind people, people with sensory impairments or complex needs.”

In late February a shopper – who asked to remain anonymous – wrote out a £5,000 cheque on the spot after quizzing Mr Ransome about the work of the charity.

Now he hopes people living in Ipswich will help the small team overcome the physical and financial damage sustained during the raid through volunteering, donating and continuing to shop in the store.

Mr Ransome added: “We ask that the local community continue to support our efforts, either by volunteering, shopping at the store or by kindly donating to get our local Sense shop back to full operation.”

Bosses at Sense HQ said the charity’s various branches are an integral element of the organisation’s fundraising efforts.

The shops allow chiefs to support people with sensory impairments and complex needs to live full and independent lives, they added.

Those who would like to volunteer and help the store get back on its feet can contact Mr Ransome by calling 01473 289455.

Alternatively, donate unwanted items by popping into the shop at 15-17 Upper Brook Street in Ipswich.


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