A CHARITY has opened a new shed to house its equipment after kind-hearted members of the public raised funds for it following a spate of burglaries.

Long Lane Garden Centre, a charity that supports people with learning disabilities and provides them with employment, was targeted by six break-ins in six weeks last summer.

But residents and businesses sprang into action and raised more than £3,000 to help it get back on its feet.

Site supervisor Stephen Penlington said: "At one point it was once a week where we'd come in and something else had happened.

"It was traumatic for everybody.

"You're coming in on a Monday morning on a downer because you're expecting the break-in, but you've just got to pick yourself up and show a brace face."

Long Lane Garden Centre has used the money raised to purchase a new shed to house bikes that are recycled by the charity and were the focus of the burglaries.

The shed was officially opened on Wednesday, July 12, with service users Anthony Fishwick and Rebecca 'Betty' Chapman cutting a bike chain instead of ribbon to mark the occasion.

Stephen added: "Companies have been involved supplying hardware or their time and we couldn't have done all of that if we didn't have the fundraising in the first place.

"Everybody chipped in and it was great to see.

"You don't realise how much support you've got until you realise you need it.

"Without the support of businesses, families, friends and the community we couldn't survive and it shows how much we're valued by them in how much they're willing to give in time and support."