BURGLARS have smashed up the Peak District base of a Rotherham charity offering holidays to disadvantaged youngsters.
The raiders targeted the 23-bed barn owned by the Crookstone Adventure Trust on Kinder Scout in Derbyshire.
They took the contents of a donation box and caused “hundreds of pounds worth of damage”.
It wasn’t the first time the Rotherham-based charity had been burgled after thieves took its Land Rover and trailer in a previous raid.
For 27 years, it has provided rural activities for young people from Rotherham and South Yorkshire — with up to 600 users each year.
Trust members visiting the site on October 5 to repair a generator found the main doors had been forced and double-glazed panels smashed.
Intruders had also tried to force another, steel-plated door, bending a steel bar and requiring “major repairs”.
Trust chairman Dave Chester said: “The thieves must have come prepared with large crowbars to wreak the damage.
“They entered most of the rooms, but thankfully did not steal anything other than the contents of a donation box, an old hosepipe and a few dishes.”
He added: “I’m angry and disappointed that there are still people who have no regard or respect for anything including charities.
“The money we will have to spend on repairs and additional security could have funded a group staying in the barn for a week or more.”
Trust members raise thousands of pounds a year to support young carers, the homeless, recovering addicts and youths with learning disabilities.
Each year they host groups sent by the Chernobyl ChildLine charity, who still suffer the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear explosion of 1986.
Fans of the charity have already pledged support, with Yorkshire Windows offering to replace damaged glass.
Volunteers worked hard to secure the building and make it ready for the next group of young service users.
They were able to fix the barn up in time for the next group, but repairs have cost £150 so far.
And the charity will fork out even more money to beef up security and stop a repeat of the raid — costing hundreds of pounds more.
Publicity officer Dave Turner said: “We’re reinforcing all of the doors and putting a steel frame in.
“We assume the burglars must have thought there was valuable machinery inside.
“But it’s two miles away from a main road and three quarters of the way up Kinder Scout — we just cannot understand how or why someone would do this.”
The Crookstone Adventure Trust relies on the generosity and support of the communities it has served for 27 years.
If you would like help fund its services or volunteer in any capacity, contact Dave Turner on 01709 897699.