KIND and caring supporters raised more than £5,000 for a disability charity to replace a minibus which was swiped during heavy flooding in Rotherham on Thursday.
Social Eyes launched an urgent appeal after a 17-seater Ford Transit worth £13,000 was stolen from its headquarters at Harding Avenue, Rawmarsh, between 4pm and 11.45pm.
Social Eyes is a day service for adults with mild to moderate learning disabilities and autism, and its minibus is used by 30 people six-days-a-week for outings and activities such as football training and swimming.
It took the charity four days to raise the £5,000 it needed to replace its minibus and it said it would use any extra funding it received to increase security to stop any similar incidents.
Margaret Gregory, of Social Eyes, said: “Thank you to every single person who has offered support, kind words and donations.
“Social Eyes is so lucky to have so many kind and caring people supporting us.
“We have all been overwhelmed and inspired by the magnitude of generosity and genuine care for our service and most importantly our precious service users.
“We are happy to say that we have hit our target in the crowdfunding page of £5,000 and any extra money raised will be used towards increased security of our new bus.
“We are having bollards fitted in our car park that retract up and down alongside various other top-secret security measures so that we don’t get targeted again.”
The charity has been using a minibus from Go2 Travel since its vehicle was taken between 4pm and 11.45pm last Thursday
Ms Gregory said: "The theft of the minibus, which has the registration number BJ12 YF3, had left the service users devastated."
The Social Eyes headquarters was not affected by flooding, however, large parts of Rotherham were left under water last Thursday when a month’s rain fell in 24 hours.
Anyone with information about the theft should call police on 101, quoting incident number 14/169253/19.