Hospice van theft

Wednesday, 26 August 2020
The vehicle was a Ford Transit Connect, registration: YK61 YNS with Hospice branded graphics on it. It was parked in the rear staff car park at the Hospice on Halfpenny Lane and was stolen at approximately 9.32pm on Friday 21 August and has yet to be recovered.
A member of the Hospice nursing team witnessed the theft as she was leaving the building at the end of her shift and immediately reported the incident to the Police.
Jo Schofield, Head of Clinical Services at the Hospice said; 'It is heartbreaking that one of my members of staff had to witness this crime as she was leaving her shift. Working on the ward is increasingly challenging in these unprecedented times, without adding to it with the distress of seeing the Hospice van being stolen. The nurse was extremely shaken up by the incident, but acted quickly in calling the Police. She has provided a full witness statement and I'm extremely proud of how she dealt with the situation.'
If you have any information that may help the Police with their investigation please call 101 quoting the crime reference number 13200422387.
The van is essential to the day-to-day running of the Hospice's retail arm and is used to transport stock to its 13 shops, collect furniture donations and deliver furniture purchased at the Castleford furniture shop.
Sarah Lowden, the manager of the furniture shop said; 'I was absolutely devastated to hear the news. It's a huge loss to our Hospice, we rely on the van to collect donations from customers houses to sell in the shop and to deliver items bought in store. We could potentially lose around £2,000 per week from not having the van on the road, which when we have been closed for months during the pandemic is a real worry. The theft has put a huge strain on our one remaining van and our ability to move stock from our donation centre to our other shops. It saddens me that someone would do this to a local charity without a second thought of how it will impact us.'
The cost of a replacement vehicle is currently unknown, however it is anticipated there will be a significant shortfall between the market value paid by the insurance company and the cost of buying an appropriate van that will be reliable and fit for the business needs of the Hospice.
A Just Giving page has been set up to help with the loss of income from the van not being on the road and the costs of purchasing a suitable replacement vehicle. The Hospice is urging supporters to donate if they are able at: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/vantheft

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