Ex-miners and charity members ‘will suffer’ after vandals damage charity minibuses in Pontefract

Vandals smashed windows and windscreens in the attack.
Vandals smashed windows and windscreens in the attack.

A charity are calling for witnesses to come forward after vandals smashed the windows of their minibuses.

Two vans were damaged in the attack, which left windows and windscreens shattered and rendered the vans unusable until repairs can be made.

Vandals smashed windows and windscreens in the attack.

Vandals smashed windows and windscreens in the attack.

The two minibuses belong to the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation (CISWO), and are used to transport ex-miners and their families to Pontefract’s Thornycroft centre.

At the centre, members are treated to social activities, hot food and companionship that they may otherwise go without.

Until repairs can be made, CISWO have been left with just one minibus in which to collect their members.

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Vandals smashed windows and windscreens in the attack.

Vandals smashed windows and windscreens in the attack.

The charity’s chief executive, Nicola Didlock, said that this has left many members stranded at their homes.

“We can normally collect about 40 people a day,” she said. “But we cover quite a big geographical patch and we can’t pick everybody up in one minibus.

“The sad thing is it’s predominantly our members that will suffer from this, it’s not the organisation or the staff.

“We know that for some of those people, it’s the only time that they get to leave their house and see people during the week.

“It’s really sad that we’re not going to be able to help them.”

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The damage was first noticed by members of staff at the Halfpenny Lane office on the morning of Friday, October 19.

CISWO hope that the minibuses will be repaired and back in use before the end of the week, but have been forced to cancel collections while repairs are organised.

Anyone with any information on the vandalism is asked to contact West Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting crime reference number 13180523561.

CISWO offers support to former miners and their families and is also open to other members of the community. For more information on the charity, call 01977 703384.