Teens’ hard-earned kit stolen in morning raid

Boarded up windows at Todmorden Youth Centre
Boarded up windows at Todmorden Youth Centre

YOUTH club members have been left devastated after equipment they raised money to buy was stolen by thieves.

Burglars took a television, camera, games consoles and petty cash during the break-in at Todmorden Youth Centre on Sunday at about 11am.

Marie Gresty, senior youth worker at the centre, said: “They are really really upset.

“It’s like their privacy has been invaded.

“It’s having a big impact.”

Now the teenagers face starting a new programme of fundraising to replace the stolen equipment.

“We don’t give them things - they have to put effort in to get things,” Marie said.

“We spent lots of time fundraising and filling in forms to put in funding bids to buy the equipment.

“Now we are back to square one. That’s why they are so upset.

“Some of them have even offered to bring things in from home.”

The youth centre, based at Todmorden Community College on Burnley Road, runs sessions from Monday to Friday.

More than 200 young people use the centre each week.

The equipment is also used by other groups.

“I take the equipment to a special needs group at Todmorden High School,” Marie said.

“Now I have nothing that I can take with me.”

Jack Hudson, who attends sessions at the youth centre, said he thought it was very disrespectful that things have been stolen.

“The youth club is a very trusting place to us and we all find it very depressing to know someone would do that to us and the staff,” he said.

Fellow youth club member Danielle Wilkinson said: “It is not a nice feeling that strange people have come into our safe environment and taken our equipment, which means we can’t have all the fun we used to as we can’t buy the things back.”

Lorraine Daber, from Calderdale Council’s Young People’s Service, said the centre is still able to open but it cannot provide the same facilities.

“The young people are upset about losing their best equipment,” she said.

“Not all homes have things like Wiis and X-Boxes.”

A police spokesperson said: “If anyone witnessed the incident or has any information, then call the Upper Valley Neighbourhood Policing Team on 01706 817237 or via 101.”