A community charity has been left reeling after thieves stole a caravan which it used to support vulnerable people in isolated areas.
The Rural Coffee Caravan is a mobile cafe which provides much-needed information, support and services to many residents across Suffolk.
The Lunar Conquest 524 caravan was put away by staff in a secured area in Great Ashfield last Friday night and when they came back on Tuesday to pick it up, they discovered it had been stolen.
The Rev Canon Sally Fogden, from Sapiston, who helped to set up the charity in 2003, said: “It is a very sad thing that someone would steal from a charity that helps so many people.”
This was only the caravan’s third season and Mrs Fogden said the charity now had to take the strain of running its services on one vehicle.
She said: “We do have a camper van as well but that is usually out working too, so this now has had to double up the workload.”
Mrs Fogden felt like the charity had been ‘burgled’.
She added: “Our insurance covers the van but we will have to replace all the items such as kettles, mugs, rugs used in the cold for people and these will all have to be bought again through more fund-raising.”
The unit has logos of the Rural Coffee Caravan on all sides and Mrs Fogden hopes anyone who may have seen it contacts the Suffolk Police.
Ann Osborn, the charity’s director, said: “We are devastated at the loss of our caravan as it is the core of our work.
“We would like to express our heartfelt thanks for all the support we have received and are continuing to receive.”
Police investigations have asked the public with information to contact them by calling 101 and quoting crime reference number 37/47805/17 or go to www.suffolk.police.uk