Heartbreak as centre is ransacked

Douge Robertshaw pictured at Boothtown Centre, which was trashed by burglars.

Douge Robertshaw pictured at Boothtown Centre, which was trashed by burglars.

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Fifteen years of hard work went down the drain when thugs trashed a Halifax community centre causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Burglars ransacked Boothtown Centre, making off with a mobility scooter, a projector and a Wii video game console, while brown sauce, fizzy drinks and sweets from the centre’s tuck shop were strewn across the room.

Holes were kicked through doors, and tables and chairs were smashed in a rampage that could mean the building has to be demolished.

Longstanding centre volunteer Douge Robertshaw, whose wife Vicky is secretary of Boothtown Partnership and has been involved with the project since the beginning, said: “It’s everything we’ve worked for. It’s unbelievable what has happened here – I can’t believe anyone would do this to a community building.

“We have worked so hard for this place and now it’s over – I’m gutted.

“If my wife was here to see the state of the place now it would put her in hospital – it would kill her.

“It’s a big loss to the people of Boothtown and we don’t have the money for repairs, it’s not worth doing anything else with and we’ll probably have to demolish it.”

The centre, which was established with grants from local businesses and money raised by the people of Boothtown, has been home to many football teams, children’s clubs, computer classes, cookery courses and other groups.

But the number of groups and classes making use of the centre has diminished in recent years.

Boothtown Partnership was in talks with Calderdale Council to hand over the running of the centre if the council was able to put it to better use for people in the area.

The numbers of young people attending sport and other activities had dwindled in recent years and it had been at least a week since Mr Robertshaw had been into the building.

A number of files were stored in the building by Calderdale’s Council’s Children and Young People’s Services but they were all recovered.

Mr Robertshaw hoped there was a chance that money to repair the building could be raised but doubted that it was possible.

Anyone who might have seen anything suspicious in the area during the week up until Tuesday June 7 has been asked to contact the police on 101.