Harold Wood children’s charity shop left short of vital cash after vandals smash windows

Staff Jean Lyons and Pauline Obee by the boarded up window at the Rainbow Charity Trust shop in Haro

Staff Jean Lyons and Pauline Obee by the boarded up window at the Rainbow Charity Trust shop in Harold Wood. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

A manager was left broken hearted when she arrived at work to find her children’s charity shop had been hit by vandals.

Pauline Obee, who runs the Rainbow Trust charity shop, Station Road, Harold Wood, found the store stutters up and windows smashed.

She immediately called police who arrived at 10am, Saturday, June 3.

“It’s ridiculous that they [vandals] targeted a charity shop and it’s not the first time,” she said.

“I’m hoping that they were caught on CCTV so that they will be arrested.”


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When Pauline entered the store, she found it turned upside down. “The cupboards and drawers were smashed, so they must have been looking for money,” she said.

But the crooks only got away with £20 and some costume jewellery.

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When other staff arrived, they were just as upset that the shop – which raises money for sick children and their families – had been targeted.

“Local people are as devastated as we are,” Pauline added.

Now, instead of investing their time and effort into raising money for the charity, staff have to spend vital cash on covering the cost of window repairs, estimated at £900.

According to Pauline, just two years ago the shop was broken into through a glass door, which was replaced and then broken again.

The Rainbow Trust supports families who have a child aged up to 18 with a life-threatening or terminal illness, providing them with pallative care.

It also supports the siblings of sick children maintain school attendance and take part in positive activities.

But the shop is unable to open fully while repairs are being arranged.

Undeterred, Pauline and her team are still taking action and have set up a collection box and are selling some items outside the shop to continue raising money for charity and to fix the windows.

“It’s sad because we should be using this money for the children who need it and in supporting a family through diagnosis and treatment of a terminally sick child,” she added.

Police inquiries continue. Contact 101 with information.

To help the charity shop raise cash, call Pauline on 01708 378717.

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