Children plea for stolen minibus funds

Children plea for stolen minibus funds

Children from a local community centre in north Belfast have appealed for the return of £4,000 raised for a new minivan which was stolen during the week.

Members of the Hubb Community Resource Centre on the Shore Road say they are devastated by the theft.The money was taken some time during the week when the home of one of the club leaders was broken into and robbed.The club, which has been running in north Belfast since 1951, is used by hundreds of people on a regular basis.It had taken the club a year of fundraising to get the funds together and they only needed another thousand pounds to buy the badly needed vehicle."We went on a three-day residential with some of the older young people, and I came back yesterday afternoon to find my house had been burgled and the fundraising money that we put in my house to be safe, because we didn't want to leave it in the centre, had been taken," Jim Crothers, from the centre explained."The community is completely destroyed over it you know, we've worked really really hard."The last part of the fundraising was to get the insurance money, this is a lifeline and a really energetic place for people to use and the whole community is destroyed."Youth leader Thomas Holmes added: "If you have a conscience bring it back, it's the kids you're stealing from and the community."The children who use the centre have been upset by the news and some who spoke to UTV have appealed to the person or people responsible to return the money.Members of the centre decided to fundraise for a minibus because it was becoming too expensive to hire coaches.One of the groups affected is the Bowling Club which has been in this centre for over 60 years.Tommy Moore, from the club said a minibus would have "helped immensely" with taking children away and taking his team to venues to play bowls."This has been a real shock for the community centre and the people living in the area," he said."They hope that someone will give information to the police or decide themselves to give the money back for their much-needed minibus."Police have appealed to anyone who witnessed the burglary in the St Aubyn Street area or anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area them at Tennent Street Police Station on the non-emergency number 101 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

© UTV

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