AN APPEAL has been launched to raise £4,000 to replace sports equipment stolen from a charity in Rednal which uses it to help rehabilitate people with brain injuries.
The Save Our Sports drive comes after raiders targeted Headway Birmingham and Solihull’s brain injury centre and head office in Chapel Rise.
Sessions are not currently being held because of the lockdown but many staff are still working at the centre.
And on Monday when they arrived they found the burglars had broken in, taken archery equipment and fishing gear used as part of a Sports and Wellbeing programme and damaged the lock-up they were stored in.
Most of the equipment was paid for by cash from The Angling Trust but one client’s personal much-loved fishing equipment was also stolen.
Sue Tyler, CEO at Headway Birmingham and Solihull, said: “This is another blow for the charity at a time we are fighting for our very existence and trying our hardest to keep up morale.
“Even in normal times, this would be a dreadful thing to happen, but in these current hard times, we despair that someone can do this.”
She added survival had to be the priority and right now she and others were concerned for the charity’s future but they were hopeful of replacing the equipment.
Headway is facing its biggest financial difficulties in its 30-year history of providing brain injury services.
With centres unable to open, many of Headway’s staff have been furloughed and the skeleton team left are working hard to deliver the organisation’s new remote services.
Among them are welfare calls, doorstep visits, online sessions to ensure vulnerable people have the support, food and medication they need and ongoing contact from those they know and trust.
Sue added that, with the furlough scheme and some council funding, she was confident of getting through the crisis and would be providing the best possible support to clients while it continued.
The biggest concern is the long-term impact on Headway as the lost revenue from charity shop closures, cancelled fund-raising events and other factors, could mean cuts to services to make it to 2021.
Headway has also missed out on government help and many ‘grassroots’ funding schemes being offered during the pandemic as it is slightly too big to be classed as a small charity.
Visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/saveoursports to donate to the appeal.