Vandalised van is back on road again

Project leader Olivia McCann

Project leader Olivia McCann

First published in News

Swindon Children’s Scrap-store’s van, which was vandalised over Easter, is back on the road after M4 Van Services repaired it at a reduced rate.

The company saw the Adver’s story about vandals puncturing the charity’s Ford Transit Luton’s fuel tank while it was parked at their Bramble Close base and offered to help. M4 fitted a new tank for £140 when the job should have cost around £500. In February, the van needed £1,500 of repairs and after the scrapstore appealed for help M4 came forward carrying out the work for a fraction of the price.

Olivia McCann, the scrapstore’s project leader, said: “They got in touch after seeing the story on Wednesday and asked us what our insurance excess was. “They offered to carry out the work for £140. This is twice that they have come to our rescue now and we are so grateful to them and the Adver.

“It is a silver lining for us after a horrible incident. It has meant we haven’t had to go through our insurance who’d have probably wrote off the vehicle, leaving us having to shell out £7,000, which we don’t have, for a new one.”

The charity uses the 16-year-old vehicle, which was back on the road yesterday, to pick up donations, such as furniture and DIY goods. They use the materials to run craft workshops with children.

While the vehicle was being repaired, the charity hired a van to do their planned work picking up redundant stock from the NSPCC centres in Old Town and Penhill, which are closing. Olivia said she was pleased to have their van working again as they prepare to open a new furniture shop, which will raise funds to support their work, in Regent Street next month.

Dave Hyde, M4’s group service manager, said the company was pleased to help. He said: “We were delighted to help them again as they are a local charity and do good work in the community. We are glad that they are back on their feet and that their finances aren’t as stretched as they could have been.”

Wiltshire Police is investigating the incident which happened between 2pm on Saturday and 9.30am on Tuesday. The vandals also removed the vehicle’s front and rear number plates.

Police believe the offence could be related to an incident at Warm Space Insulation, in Rushey Platt, which saw four vehicles have their fuel tanks punctured on Monday evening.

John Hennessy, director, said: “This is very disappointing and probably cost us around £5,000 all in all as we’ve put up CCTV to hopefully act as a deterrent in the future.”

Any witnesses to either offence can call Wiltshire Police on 101.

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