Hospice charity shop is ransacked by burglars

The window of the Wigan and Leigh Hospice charity shop on Mesnes Street which had a paving slab thrown through it by burglars

The window of the Wigan and Leigh Hospice charity shop on Mesnes Street which had a paving slab thrown through it by burglars

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BURGLARS hurled a paving stone through the window of a Wigan town centre charity shop before ransacking it.

The offenders also broke a glass panel at the front of the Wigan and Leigh Hospice (WLH) shop on Mesnes Street to gain entry before trashing the interior, smashing donated goods and damaging the staff area.

Volunteers Brian Edwards, Dot Baggaley, Joyce Orrell and Amy Cowap at the Wigan and Leigh Hospice charity shop

Volunteers Brian Edwards, Dot Baggaley, Joyce Orrell and Amy Cowap at the Wigan and Leigh Hospice charity shop

The charity says the attack, which happened between 10pm on Monday and 7am on Tuesday, caused around £350 of damage.

Shocked volunteers discovered the chaotic scene on Tuesday morning and WLH is now urgently appealing for anyone with information to contact police.

Volunteer shop co-ordinator Dot Baggaley said: “It was a right mess; they’ve thrown things about, flung open filing cabinets and lockers looking for money.

“I felt sick when I walked in and saw it . We’re volunteers working all day for free then they come in and do this.

“We leave the till open so people can see there’s nothing in it, but they still went through it.

“They thought they were going to get our takings but we bank it every night and because they couldn’t find money they’ve destroyed everything.”

The town centre shop is the second hospice store to be targeted in quick succession after the charity’s premises in Platt Bridge were targeted over the Bank Holiday weekend at the beginning of May.

The volunteers spent Tuesday morning tidying up the mess and re-opened the shop at 11am, sitting on a settee in the middle of the room to serve cutomers.

WLH retail manager Kate Gaynor said: “We rely completely on the generosity of local people and on our volunteers who dedicate a lot of time and effort to keeping the shop going.

“It is incredibly upsetting when callous individuals try to wreck everything they have worked so hard for.

“If anyone knows who has done this I would urge them to contact the police.”

Anyone with information should ring the non-emergency police number 101.