Fringe Box



Machinery Is Again Stolen From YMCA’s Social Enterprise Business For Young People

Published on: 27 Nov, 2013
Updated on: 27 Nov, 2013

For the third time in three years Plantation Trading, Guildford YMCA’s social enterprise business for young people, has been hit by robbery. The storage area in Wharf Road has been broken into again and all its hand-held petrol powered machinery stolen.

Trainee Doug Craig (left) with Plantation Trading co-ordinator Mark Coupland beside the damaged storage unit.

Trainee Doug Craig (left) with Plantation Trading co-ordinator Mark Coupland beside the damaged storage unit.

Thieves tried to cut through a padlock but failing that, cut through the metal door clamps. They left the more bulky lawnmowers behind but took everything else of value.

Sadly the real value of the stolen goods lies in its ability to provide young people with work based activities and opportunities to develop in life.

Plantation Trading co-ordinator, Mark Coupland, has told of the reaction when the theft was discovered early on Tuesday morning (November 26). He said: “We had arrived ready to load machinery on to the van and immediately realised we had a problem on our hands.

“Neither of the trainees working with me today were around when it happened before. They really feel it, and we’re all gutted. We had beefed up the security with CCTV and lighting, but clearly we’re on someone’s radar.

“Our immediate problem is continuing to offer a regular gardening service when we’ve got minimal machinery, but long term we need to find an alternative safe location for storage. Guildford Borough Council has kindly offered us a more secure storage area and we are in ongoing discussions about this.”

The theft is another real setback for Mark and his team. They will need to source replacement machinery that can cope with the demands of a commercial business, as well as somewhere more secure to keep it.

Meanwhile, should anyone be offered gardening machinery that is marked ‘Plantation Trading’ or has had markings removed please contact the police.

The machinery has also been marked with SelectaDNA, a marking system invisible to the naked eye but evident under ultra violet light.

If anyone wishes to make a donation towards the work of Plantation Trading they are most welcome. Cheques (made payable to Guildford YMCA Ltd) can be sent to Chris McSween, Guildford YMCA, Bridge Street, Guildford GU1 4SB.

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