A Wigan not-for-profit organisation battling issues with mental illness and wellbeing has been devastated by a break-in and theft at its base.
Callous thieves smashed their way into Make You Matter CIC’s headquarters in Worsley Hall and took donated items including a 40-inch TV, a new X-Box, computer monitors and an electric heater.
The raid is a sickening blow for the community interest company, which was planning a range of activities for those in need including arts and craft sessions and room for those not comfortable talking to others to enjoy pastimes in a safe environment.
Make You Matter CIC discovered the break-in at its Poplar Avenue site on the afternoon of Friday November 1, having last been there working on the building a couple of days previously.
Claire Taylor, who is one of the directors, said: “We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken.
“We’re a brand new mental health and wellbeing hub and we’re working really hard to try to establish ourselves helping everybody in the community.
“Some lovely people have decided to break in through the window and taken things that were donated to us from the goodness of other people’s hearts. They’ve even taken the heater from the office as well, just to keep them warm.
“It’s awful. We were going to use those things to support children with special educational needs and their fammilies here.
“The plan was to do arts and crafts and also use our outdoor allotment space while also having a quiet space for kids who don’t want to integrate to use until they feel ready.
“We’re now going to have to look at getting funding for security of the premises, putting shutters on the windows and so on. We are applying for funding at the moment but we wanted to use that money to deliver services straight away.”
The offenders’ actions are all the more upsetting for Make You Matter as Claire has gone part time and fellow directors Callie Hickey has left her previous job entirely to make a go of offering a community hub dedicated to tackling mental illness and boosting wellbeing in the area.
The organisation has been speaking to primary school children about mental health and hosting community events, with its other plans including activities for over-50s who are at risk of social isolation and employment support groups.
The break-in has already led to a wave of support for the recently-established group on social media, with generous individuals and organisations across Wigan pledging to help Make You Matter.
A Go Fund Me page has also been set up with a £750 fund-raising target.
Anyone with information about the break-in should contact the police on 101, quoting log number 1594 for the date November 1, or ring independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
To donate to the crowdfunding page, search for Make You Matter CIC at gofundme.com