Ter­mi­nally-ill ripped off by heart­less thieves

Wairarapa News - - FRONT PAGE - ILLYA MCLEL­LAN

For the ter­mi­nally-ill peo­ple in the care of Hospice Wairarapa, one of the high­lights of the week is hav­ing an out­door lunch in the gar­den with friends and staff.

For the next few weeks the pa­tients will be un­able to have that time af­ter thieves took all the of hospice’s out­door fur­ni­ture.

They also took tools, plants and other items, in­clud­ing a chain­saw.

Hospice man­ager Suzie Adam­son said it was com­plete shock to ar­rive on Fri­day morn­ing and find they had been tar­geted.

In a Face­book post she de­scribed the in­ci­dent as ‘‘heart­break­ing’’.

The hospice re­lies on com­mu­nity sup­port and the theft cuts into an al­ready thin bud­get that is propped up by fundrais­ing events that take place each week, she said.

‘‘When you steal from hospice you are steal­ing ser­vices from peo­ple who are dy­ing, be­cause we have to pay in­surance excess, and that means tak­ing money we have bud­geted for pa­tient care.

‘‘It makes you feel vul­ner­a­ble when you ar­rive in the morn­ing, won­der­ing what else might hap­pen, we don’t have a lot of money, and rely on vol­un­teers to run the ser­vice, so it was a real blow.

‘‘The com­mu­nity re­sponse has been amaz­ing, though, the sup­port has been won­der­ful. We have had of­fers of money, ser­vices from lo­cal busi­nesses.

Hospice vol­un­teer Brian Stew­art looks af­ter the work shed and helps or­gan­ise the weekly garage sale, he ar­rived on Fri­day morn­ing and no­ticed the pad­lock was not on the door.

‘‘At first I thought to my­self I must have for­got­ten to put the lock on, but then I went in­side the shed and saw the chain­saw was gone.

‘‘It was then I went back out­side the shed and saw some­one had cut the lock and re­moved the pad­lock.

‘‘It will be in­ter­est­ing to find out where the hell all the stuff has gone.

‘‘We have a great team here and put in a lot of ef­fort to raise money. We just have to carry on,’’ Stew­art said.

Master­ton po­lice se­nior sergeant Gor­don Craw­ley said they are still look­ing for in­for­ma­tion and that any­one who can re­mem­ber see­ing any­thing out of the or­di­nary on Re­nall St be­tween 6pm Thurs­day and 8am Fri­day can either call the sta­tion or Crimestop­pers.

‘‘They would have been either car­ry­ing the stuff down the road or load­ing a van or truck.’’

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