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Vandals target Eye Opportunity group which supports children with additional needs




Eye Opportunity Group was broken into on four separate occasions. Pictured from left Laura Stretch, family support worker, Gill Mossop, play assistant, Sanchia Brandreth, coordinator of opportunity group and Jane Last, play leader. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography.
Eye Opportunity Group was broken into on four separate occasions. Pictured from left Laura Stretch, family support worker, Gill Mossop, play assistant, Sanchia Brandreth, coordinator of opportunity group and Jane Last, play leader. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography.

A town has rallied behind a group for children with additional needs after it was repeatedly targeted by vandals.

Eye Opportunity Group, which supports more than 35 children who have disabilities or are terminally ill, was broken into on four separate occasions during the last week.

During the break-ins at the site in Castleton Way, a ball pool was irreparably damaged, two printers were broken, furniture was covered in Tipex and ink, sensory lights were smashed and the door of a playhouse was kicked in.

Group co-ordinator Sanchia Brandreth said: “It’s outrageous. How they can target families with children with disabilities, who haven’t done any harm to anybody, is unbelievable.

“The ball pool was a lovely part of our equipment and it was of great benefit to children with special needs. Now they are being deprived of that, which is quite sad.”

Since the break-ins, the charity has been overwhelmed by support from the community.

“We have had a tremendous amount of support and received some lovely messages from families that attend or previously attended,” said Mrs Brandreth, who has been working for the group since 1992.

“They are all upset to hear what has happened to us as we haven’t been able to give the families the support we usually give.”

People have come forward with offers to replace or repair some of the damaged equipment and toys, while Hartismere Place care home has pledged to raise money for the group at an event on Monday.

At Syleham and Wingfield village hall a bingo sessions will be held on May 31 and June 28 at 8pm to raise money for the group.

Alternatively, if you would like to donate, visit their fundraising website.

  • To read the parents' reaction, pick up the latest copy of the Diss Express, out now.


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