Children's hospice charity shop installs security shutter after 2021 break-in

Havens Hospice

The Haven House Children's Hospice shop in Romford now has a security shutter - Credit: Haven House Children’s Hospice

A charity shop has installed a security shutter following a break-in last year which was unsuccessfully investigated by the Met Police.

Haven House Children’s Hospice's shop, in South Street, Romford was broken into on January 6 last year.  

After being asked about the result of police investigations, a Met spokesperson said: “Officers carried out enquiries, including a review of CCTV from the area.  

“No suspects were identified.” 

The entrance to Haven House Children's Hospice's shop in South Street, Romford is boarded up after the glass door was...

The entrance to Haven House Children's Hospice's shop in South Street, Romford was boarded up after the glass door was smashed in January last year. - Credit: Haven House Children's Hospice

The hospice’s head of retail, Matt Lord, said: “We have every faith that the police did everything they could to find a resolution to whoever broke in, unfortunately it’s one of those things and you can’t always manage to find those people.”  

Due to the break in Matt explained the charity shop kicked off the year, opening in April, on a “particularly rough footing”, due to the extra expense from needing to put a security shutter in the front of the store.  

But despite this he remains optimistic and said the charity, based in Woodford Green, has had a “reasonably successful year” though it still is not performing at pre-pandemic levels.

He said: “For a shop, your shop window is your biggest selling feature and lots of people who walked past our store in the evening would've seen some lovely stuff in the window, which they would come in to purchase the next day.  

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“Now, with the big security shutter in front, people can’t see that anymore.”  

Another challenge the charity is facing is a plummet in volunteer numbers, according to Matt, who is trying to invite as many new volunteers as possible into the shop to help it perform better.  

“For us the main thing we’re focusing on is being the best we can be, making sure our customers and volunteers feel safe and trying to invite as many new volunteers and customers into our shop as possible to raise us up to our pre-pandemic levels.". 

The damage done to the glass front door of Haven House Children's Hospice's shop in South Street, Romford.

The damage that was done to the glass front door of Haven House Children's Hospice's shop in South Street, Romford. - Credit: Haven House Children's Hospice

The Met confirmed the investigation is now closed, but said the “decision will be reviewed should any further evidential opportunities arise”.  

Matt added: “We’re hugely lucky that we’re keeping our head above water and we’re grateful that the people of Romford have supported us at a time that has been as equally daunting for them as it has for us.”