Paignton charity hit with £2k vandalism bill before it opens
A COMMUNITY charity has been hit with a £2,000 bill for damage before it even gets started.
Centrepeace had all its windows smashed by a group of youths just weeks away from its big opening in Palace Avenue, Paignton.
Teresa Emberson, the charity manager and trustee, said it was really sad to have the charity vandalised when its aim was to help the community.
She said: "We are in the process of turning the former Paignton town office into a community centre and cafe.
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"We're a not-for-profit charity and our finances are not limitless. This is a bit of a blow before we've even started."
Mrs Emberson said Centrepeace will provide help and counselling to anyone seeking help regardless of age and will also provide the most disadvantage people in the Bay with everything they may need from toiletries to food or just friendship.
She added: "We want to be there to respond to people's needs rather than tell them what they need.
"We will not turn away anyone because they don't fit into a certain age bracket."
The window damage happened in the early hours of Saturday, March 9.
It is understood a group of girls was seen in the area at the time.
Mrs Emberson said it will cost Centrepeace about £1,600 to fix the windows and another £500 to have them boarded up.
She said: "I hope people will realise that we are here for them and look out for us so this type of incident does not happen again."
Police have been informed of the incident.
Centrepeace has about eight volunteers. Work is still ongoing inside the former council office. The new venue is due to open next month.
Anyone wishing to help can call 01803 550720.