Northampton brain injury charity sees loss of £1,000 after collection tins stolen

Margo Basketfield of Headway Northampton is appealing for witnesses after the charity she manages was burgled.
Margo Basketfield of Headway Northampton is appealing for witnesses after the charity she manages was burgled.

A Northampton brain injury day centre was this week targetted by a thief who stole up to £1,000 of donations and petty cash.

Staff at Headway Northampton in Kings Heath Industrial Estate walked into work on Tuesday morning (January 30) to the sound of security alarms ringing before noticing that the door to the side of the building had been smashed in.

Between £800 and £1,000 worth of cash donations in collection tins - as well as petty cash - were stolen from the premises, which helps to pay for volunteers’ expenses.

The service, which has been running for 34 years, puts on daily therapeutic tasks for people who have sustained a trauma or acquired a brain injury after birth.

Margo Basketfield manager of Headway Northampton said the incident has become disturbing for the service users.

Describing what was taken, she said: "Mostly money. What they did was they broke in the side door and took money from the small safe, petty cash, and they emptied some of the collecting tins that we have about for donations. Possibly, between £800 to £1,000 was taken. I know there was £200 in pound coins ready to go to the bank.

"What I find the most annoying is that we have been here eight years and we have never had anything, they leave us well alone. We are well respected in what we do and where we are. So I think it's sad for the area that they would take it and especially take it from a charity. Most charities of our size are struggling."

Headway was opened in Kings Heath eight years ago after a cash injection of £50,000 was used to revamp the site from hard earned fundraising efforts.

The site hosts a sensory garden, an aromatherapy suite and workshops for about 40 people every day who have suffered strokes, tumors, viral infections and meningitis.

When asked what the money helps to fund, she said: "It's the running of Headway. Petty cash I suppose you use it more for incidentals, I have to pay expenses to volunteers, if they run out of milk and tea or whatever you pay it out of petty cash.

"Any money we raise goes towards our service users and their families and to keep this service running."

A spokeswoman for Northamptonshire Police said they were called to reports of a burglary in Heathfield Way at 8.15am on January 30.

She added that the incident happened sometime between January 29 at 6.30pm and January 30 at 8.15am and cash was stolen after the offender forced the side door open.

No arrests have been made.

Anyone with information should call Northamptonshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555111.

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