A WIGAN charity is appealing for help after heartless yobs smashed its shop windows, causing damage costing hundreds of pounds to repair.
Wigan Lourdes Association is asking anyone who may know those involved to report them to police after they had to stump up £600 to repair the damage.
We have to pay out of the charity’s money as if we go through the insurance, they’ll just bump our premium up. I’ve worked for the charity for 30 years and I’ve never known anything quite like thisMaureen Sharkey
It’s believed that the incident happened overnight on Friday, leaving the shop bosses to believe it may have been a mindless act of drunken thuggery.
The association pays to take ill people to Lourdes, the French town which has become a site of pilgrimage and miraculous healing since a number of reported Marian apparitions.
Maureen Sharkey who helps run the shop said: “It’s absolutely horrific, I don’t know how anyone could do something like this.
“It’s not the first time this has happened. It’s cost us thousands of pounds over the years.
“We have to pay out of the charity’s money as if we go through the insurance, they’ll just bump our premium up. I’ve worked for the charity for 30 years and I’ve never known anything quite like this.
“This is not how I know people from Wigan to be. It’s not fair at all.”
The £600 bill that the charity has had to pay this time is enough to send somebody to Lourdes, the Christian pilgrimage destination for sick people.
And with it coming right in the middle of the Lourdes season, it puts extra pressure on the group.
Maureen added: “Somebody must have seen something.
“We are desperate for CCTV here like they have on King Street. Thousands come down Wigan Lane over the weekend alone and with drink inside them there’s always the chance something like this could happen.
“It’s not just us neither, there are other homes and businesses that have had their windows smashed,
“It’s about time something was done and those responsible were caught and paid for the damage they have caused.”
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “We were called to a report of criminal damage at 1.35am on Saturday.
“Officers arrived to find that a window had been smashed and it has since been boarded up.
“It’s believed that the incident happened between 9pm and 11pm on Friday.
“Enquiries are ongoing.”
Anyone with any information is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Sadly, it was the one of two incidents this week which saw the shop fall victim to the thoughtless actions of others.
Earlier in the week, a customer had paid for a £2 item with a £50, taking away £48 change. However, it was since found out that the £50 was a fake.