Community supports Bury St Edmunds charity targeted by thieves

Matt Moss, Paul Sheppard and Karol Holtyn, from Poundfield Products, present planters to Gatehouse, in Bury St Edmunds, to replace others which were stolen. They are pictured with Elaine Channen, the charitys dementia hub facilitator, and clients. Picture: Mark Westley.
Matt Moss, Paul Sheppard and Karol Holtyn, from Poundfield Products, present planters to Gatehouse, in Bury St Edmunds, to replace others which were stolen. They are pictured with Elaine Channen, the charitys dementia hub facilitator, and clients. Picture: Mark Westley.
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A community has rallied to support a vital Bury St Edmunds charity which has been targeted by thieves for the fourth time in weeks.

Thirty gnomes were stolen last Friday night from a gnome garden at Gatehouse which the charity’s dementia clients helped create.

It is the fourth theft from the charity, in Dettingen Way, in about eight weeks after several planters and a hose pipe were snatched.

Elaine Channen, facilitator of the charity’s dementia hub, said their clients were ‘really upset’ at the latest theft and described the culprit as a ‘very sad individual’. She added: “I would rather have given £10 out of my own pocket and said here you are, go buy yourself a couple of gnomes.”

However, Gatehouse has been left ‘overwhelmed’ by the generosity of the community following an article in the Bury Free Press last week about the previous incidents.

Bury in Bloom arranged for more than 100 spare plants from the Abbey Gardens to be donated to Gatehouse and Poundfield Products, in Creeting St Peter, has given eight concrete planters.

Bury in Bloom has also donated £500 to buy a raised planter for wheelchair users and the charity is looking for further funding towards it.

It is also appealing for donations of replacement gnomes.

Amanda Bloomfield, chief executive of Gatehouse, said: “We’re really pleased that people are willing to replace the planters and do their bit for the community to make sure our dementia clients can continue to enjoy their garden.”

CCTV from a nearby business shows a man in a white van approaching the charity when the planters were stolen. Call Suffolk Police on 101 quoting reference 37/458301/7.

To offer support to Gatehouse call 01284 754967.