Callous thieves steal lead from roof of cancer children’s holiday home
CALLOUS thieves caused severe water damage to a holiday home for children with cancer after they stole lead from its roof.
Dozens of much-loved toys had to be thrown away after the theft above a newly decorated playroom at Malcolm Sargent House in Prestwick, Ayrshire.
Cancer charity CLIC Sargent, who run the centre, now face a £15,000 bill to repair the roof – even though the stolen lead is worth just £500 as scrap metal.
Staff at Malcolm Sargent House, which offers breaks for young people with cancer, their siblings and bereaved families, are devastated by the theft.
Manager Joe Janikowski said: “Every penny we raise is vital to CLIC Sargent’s work supporting children and young people with cancer, so we have been deeply saddened by the robbery.
“Malcolm Sargent House is a place where families come to spend time together, making the incident all the more distressing.
“The repairs to the roof will cost around £15,000 but we also had to throw away all the toys in the newly decorated playroom because of contamination.
“Securing the roof and making the house safe for families is our priority.”
Strathclyde Police confirmed the alarm was raised around 10am yesterday.
It would have taken several men to strip the lead from the roof and load it on to a vehicle.
The robbers were so determined to maximise their haul that they even took the zinc flashings from a gazebo.
There have been a spate of similar lead thefts in the area – including at Royal Troon Golf Club and a nearby chapel.
The theft is the second blow to Malcolm Sargent staff this month after recent storms caused £10,000 of damage to a musical garden.
Fundraising manager May Gilchrist said: “I just hope the scrap dealers have a conscience and shop the people who did this. They have caused untold pain.
“If they could see the families that we deal with, they would probably think twice.”
Britain’s £5billion-a-year scrap industry is facing tougher regulation as part of a government crackdown on metal theft, which costs the UK economy at least £770million every year.