Wakefield food bank 'blown away' as community raises £1,000 in just three days after vandalism attacks
Staff at a Wakefield food bank have been "blown away" after the community raised almost £1,000 in their name following a spate of vandalism attacks.
St Catherine's Church Centre, on Doncaster Road, supports hundreds of families in the Wakefield district and received more than 5,000 referrals in 2018 alone.
Staff and volunteers were left in tears after vandals smashed windows at the property earlier this week, forcing the team to reconsider the future of the facility.
But they have been left in shock after a social media campaign in their name raised more than £900 in just three days.
Joshua Brandwood, who launched the fundraiser, said: "I felt compelled to help. I have a lot of family in Yorkshire and I’ve personally fallen on hard times in the past and relied on support from others.
"I find this sad incident an opportunity to give something back. Falling on hard times can happen to anybody so it’s important these vital organisations are supported in any way possible.
"During times of adversity, the great people of this country pull together and achieve great things.
"If we all pull together, we can get the vital funds needed to keep the food bank running. It will also give the food bank an opportunity to install a security system to protect the building."
Josh, who previously raised hundreds of pounds in support of Morecambe Food Bank, will take part in a 20k run on Saturday, February 8, donating all sponsorship to St Catherine's.
He is already two thirds of the way to his fundraising target of £1,500, which he hopes will pay for repairs to the building and further security measures.
As well as the donations, the church have also had several offers of free CCTV, which they hope will deter vandals in the future.
Lisa Grant, Centre Manager at St Catherine's, said: "We are completely blown away by the support that we're receiving from different members of the community.
"We've had two offers of free CCTV installation which is just amazing.
"There's lots of people who are coming out offering money and help. The generosity of the people of Wakefield is just amazing.
"We didn't even think we only put it on Facebook to let people know we weren't open. We weren't really expecting anything at all.
"It's just been incredible, it's really turned something that was very, very dark into just the most amazing lightness."
The Wakefield North East NPT would like to speak with anyone who has information about the attack.
Inspector Mohammed Sohail of the Wakefield North East NPT said: “We are investigating recent incidents of vandalism at the church and are looking into the possibility of whether these may be targeted.
“Targeting a food bank in this way is clearly a heartless offence and I would ask anyone who might have information about those responsible to contact us.
“Anyone who can assist is asked to call the Wakefield Central NPT on 101 referencing police crime number 13200019324.
“Information can also be given online at www.westyorkshire.police.co.uk/101livechat or anonymously to the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111. “
To donate to the campaign, visit Josh's fundraising page here.