The community has rallied around the Stave Hill Ecology Park in Rotherhithe after its centre was burgled for the second time in less than a year.
As the News has reported, thieves broke into the ecology park’s compound earlier this month, making off with a large wood-chipper, projector, projector screen and chop saw.
The damage to the facilities and stolen possessions had been estimated to cost The Stave Hill branch of The Conservation Volunteers, which runs the site, around £5,000.
But now kind-hearted locals have donated over £1,300 to a fundraiser for the charity to improve its security – which will make sure it cannot be burgled again.
The site’s manager, Rebeca Clark, said she was “just so grateful” to everyone who had donated either their money or their time in the aftermath of the burglary.
“The fact that everybody donated says it all about the local community really,” she told the News.
“It’s amazing generosity when times are hard for people to put their hands in their pockets – it takes some of the nastiness away.”
The kindness of locals towards the volunteer-led project easily outweighed the nastiness of criminals targeting the centre, Ms Clark, who has been at the site for 30 years, said.
“In all my time I’ve been here, the reason I keep on going is that community, because they’re just so great,” she added.
The money raised by the crowdfunding drive will go towards security upgrades to foil any would-be criminals trying their luck at the site.
“It’s not just what they took, it’s the mess they left behind, they smashed things and chucked things all over the place,” the long-standing site manager told the News.
“They left the place unsafe so if we can upgrade our security and improve our gates that’s what we intend to do.”
Anyone interested in donating to the fundraiser, which has a £2,500 target, can do so here.