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Hampstead Garden Suburb: Autism charity ‘trashed’ as iPads and £20 tea money taken

PUBLISHED: 10:42 06 April 2017 | UPDATED: 12:44 06 April 2017

The Hampstead Garden Suburb charity was trashed.            Picture: Resources for Autism

The Hampstead Garden Suburb charity was trashed. Picture: Resources for Autism

Archant

The manager of an autism charity in Hampstead Garden Suburb has spoken of how burglars “trashed” their office and stole laptops and £20 of tea money.

The Hampstead Garden Suburb charity was left 'trashed'.           Picture: Resources for AutismThe Hampstead Garden Suburb charity was left 'trashed'. Picture: Resources for Autism

Resources For Autism, based in Finchley Road, was raided early on Tuesday morning after a group of men smashed through a window to gain entry.

They took iPads, laptops and all the cash in the building – a £20 pot used to collect cash for tea and coffee.

Manager Liza Dresner told the Ham&High the charity “hasn’t got any money”.

“They’ve trashed the place looking for cash, we assume, and taken laptops and iPads,” she said.

“Our filing cabinets have been destroyed with shears, so they will have to be replaced – and the window.”

But Ms Dresner said the main concern was less the cost of the damage and more that the charity has lost vital time to help its users.

“There’s someone coming in tomorrow who’s highly dependent on using a laptop – but it’s been taken,” she said.

“It was just an old thing – not worth anything. I’m going to have to bring my own in.”

She added that most of the users had to be shielded from the knowledge that the office had been burgled.

“We had a high-need adult group in after the burglary and we tried to make sure they didn’t find out and become anxious.

“They aren’t people who can cope with that kind of thing.”

The charity, which cares for people “from cradle to grave”, has about 2,000 users – the youngest is two, the oldest 70.

It celebrated 21 years of providing “practical, frontline services” in February.

Ms Dresner stressed she is not asking for people to donate in the wake of the burglary, but if well-wishers wanted to give they would be very welcome to by visiting resourcesforautism.org.uk/fundraising

Police said there have been no arrests but enquiries continue.

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