The people of Worcestershire have rallied round after callous thieves ripped out fencing and cut down trees to steal thousands of pounds worth of gardening equipment from St Richard’s Hospice in Worcester.
The equipment, including a ride on lawn tractor, mower and strimmer, had been keeping the garden and grounds of the Wildwood Drive hospice in tip-top condition.
Thieves ripped off the side door of the locked garden shed and opened the locked double doors from the inside. They then cut through two fences and sawed down a damson tree and laurel shrub in order to reach the get-away vehicle parked on Spetchley Drive at the back of the hospice.
Fundraising Director Tricia Cavell said, “We have been saddened by the theft of garden machinery worth over £3,400. We feel this loss particularly as so many of our patients and loved ones find such peace and serenity in our beautiful gardens.
“However, the silver lining is that we have again been reminded that our community holds us dear in their hearts, and our spirits have been lifted by the support we have received. We are so grateful to everyone who has rallied round and made donations which have now covered the cost of replacing the stolen equipment. Any further donations will help towards the ongoing upkeep of these tranquil gardens and for extra security to be put in place.”
(top photo, lawn mower on loan from Ron Smith & Co)
Hospice Chief Executive Mark Jackson had said, “This was clearly premeditated and must have involved more than one person. Any theft is despicable but this is even more callous to steal from a charity which relies on generous donations from the public. It’s a crime against the whole community.”
He added, “The tranquil garden and grounds of St Richard’s are particularly important to our patients and their loved ones, giving them a beautiful space to look out on from their hospice beds, see the flowers and wildlife or stroll around and enjoy the calm atmosphere. We particularly need the gardening equipment at this time of year as the grass is growing so fast and our hospice team of staff and volunteers work very hard to keep the garden immaculate.”
St Richard’s Hospice provides free specialist palliative care for patients living with life-limiting illnesses and supports their families. Each year the hospice team supports over 2,600 patients and family members in Worcestershire with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.
Patients are cared for in Day Hospice, the 17-bed In-patient Unit or in their own homes by a specialist professional team as well as many trained volunteers.
In the In-patient Unit, specialist staff are on hand 24 hours a day to manage patients’ symptoms and where, if appropriate, patients may spend the last few days of life in comfort and dignity. St Richard’s is an independent charity and is grateful for all donations to help it to continue its work.