Staff and students have been devastated after thieves ransacked a North Lynn educational centre.
Engage Norfolk is facing large bills in replacing more than £1,000 worth of equipment and improving security at its Bergen Way site following a raid on Tuesday last week.
The centre helps people of all ages and abilities to learn skills such as sewing and jewellery making along with running health and safety courses and raising awareness of different conditions.
Staff arrived at the centre on Wednesday morning to find a trail of destruction with papers and craft materials strewn across the classrooms and offices.
Leslie McCabe, who is the deaf services co-ordinator, said: “I hope these people one day realise the kind of hurt and upset they have inflicted for not a lot of material gain.
“This is a community based organisation dealing with social care and education.
“We have tried to keep the clients away from this as much as possible but some have found it very upsetting. This is a safe and secure place for them to come. This could have a long term impact on the work we do with them.”
Miss McCabe says the centre may have been targeted as the thieves had scaled a 6ft fence before breaking a door panel to get in.
She said: “They went through everything. We do a lot of sewing activities and they went through all the plastic boxes.
“They went through every drawer and even touched some of the client’s things which is upsetting.
“They were quite organised by stacking things so they could get out of the fire exit.
“It has taken days to clean up. They had even gone through all the paper work in the office.”
Thieves had stolen notebook and laptop computers along with two computer tower and speakers.
Staff are looking to improve security at the site and this may prevent them from buying kitchen equipment for the cookery classes.
Miss McCabe said: “We will certainly have to postpone plans for new equipment. This is going to take money away from where it is needed.”
Rosemary Fensom was inspired to start up Engage Norfolk as nothing else was available for her daughter Charlotte, 29, who has special and complex needs, after she finished college.
Engage Norfolk has recently expanded into a larger building as the service had become popular.
The team are also able to offer social care and support for people with disabilities.
For more information go to www.engagenorfolk.co.uk or call 01553 768299.