Briony’s Gift Charity Shop Wombwell is a charity which aims to provide gifts for seriously ill children in hospital. The registered charity was created by parents Darron and Meayla Woodward after the death of their daughter Briony in 2007 from Neuroblastoma. She was just three years old.
They have been running the charity from their shop on Wombwell High Street for more than four years.
“I got a call this morning from one of my volunteers,” owner and Briony’s dad Darron, 42, told the Chronicle on Tuesday.
“I knew something must be wrong because I would never get a call unless it’s something serious.
“When I got there, the shutters were hanging off the wall, they looked like they had been kicked open and there was a massive hole in the ceiling as well as a huge mess.”
The thieves had entered the shop and taken only a handful of pound coins as well as two Kindle Fire e-readers from behind the till.
“We are quite lucky in that we don’t leave anything of value in the shop,” said Darron.
“They just grabbed about a fiver from the charity tin. One of the charity boxes they have smashed has my daughter’s face on it and I saw it when I came in, it’s broken in pieces.
“They smashed it up and stood on her face, that’s my daughter, my baby, and they did that and didn’t even think about what they were doing.
“The past couple of weeks we have been working so hard to make these kids’ dreams come true and get them something they want and then to come back to this is devastating.”
This isn’t the first time Briony’s Gift Charity Shop has been target by thieves as three years ago the shop was broken into and a charity box was taken.
“Its sickening that people would want to break into a shop that helps sick children,” said Darron.
“All we want to do is help brighten up their lives by giving them a gift they asked for - we don’t get a penny out of this as whatever we earn goes back into the charity to help more children.
“One thing that has been a silver lining in this whole thing has been that the community has really rallied around us and we have had offers from lots of people to help us clean up the shop.
“Obviously we can’t do anything until the police have been but it means a lot that they are willing to help.”
A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police, said: “Sometime between Sunday 25 August at 6pm and 8.45am on Tuesday 27 august, it is reported that a charity shop on High Street, Wombwell, was broken into.
“An amount of cash is said to have been taken.
Police say anyone with information should call 101 quoting incident number 296 of 27 August 2019.