Thieves have stolen two newly refurbished benches from Thanet Hospice.
The benches were taken from the gardens on Tuesday night (August 9).
CCTV footage shows the benches being carried by a man and a woman to a van parked on the main road. The couple were caught on camera and the theft has been reported to the police.
They had recently been repaired and painted blue by Saga employee Kayley Canning.
She said: “I was shocked, saddened and devastated after discovering thieves went to extraordinary lengths to steal the two blue, recently refurbished garden benches, that I personally had painted and repaired from Thanet Hospice garden.
“This is a heartless crime and the culprits remain unknown. I am urging the public for witnesses and any information regarding stolen property.
“There is no better way to connect with the world than doing small acts of kindness, I gave back now it’s time to get them back to the rightful owners.”
Jon May, Pilgrims Hospices Thanet Services Manager, said: “We are all at a loss as to why people would want to steal from our charity. Just last week, a volunteer working party from Saga, repaired and gave the benches a fresh new look in blue paint, they looked wonderful. Saga employees are regular supporters of the hospices, and offer their time and expertise for which we are very grateful.
“We are disappointed to say the least, that some people saw fit to steal our garden furniture, and feel even more disappointment for the volunteers who have taken so much time and effort to refurbish the benches and make them look so beautiful.
“We rely on volunteer support from organisations such as Saga, and hope this unpleasant incident will not detract from the amazing work, they do for us now and in the future. We really couldn’t do some of the vital work in and around our hospice and grounds without the generous support of our volunteers.”
The charity has been inundated with kind offers from members of the community and local businesses, to replace the benches.
Jon Sillett, Deputy CEO, added: “We can’t thank the people of Thanet enough for their generosity and very kind words of support. We have accepted a generous offer to replace the benches. Sadly, it’s unpleasant experiences such as this, that remind us how we are part of, and valued by the local community.
“We are now reviewing how we can improve the security on our site in Margate, and would love to enhance the security within the hospice settings to deter any future potential incidents. If you would like to make a contribution to items such as security gates, updating fences, lighting and other items, this would be very much appreciated. This would enable our gardens to be safe places for our patients and their loved ones to enjoy, and somewhere to create special moments and memories.”
If anyone would like to help with a donation, to help maintain the hospice for those who need Pilgrims care and support you can donate here: https://www.pilgrimshospices.org/get-involved/donate/donation-form/
Or call Pilgrims Supporter Relations Team on 01227 782 062, every penny donated will be making a different to end-on-life care in our community.
Anyone with information is asked to contact hospital services manager Jon May by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 07710 764 820