Burglars have forced a charity dedicated to supporting homeless people in West Norfolk to close their community shop.
The Purfleet Trust is closing their community shop, the Olive Branch, based at the Centre Point in Fairstead, following a series of burglaries and break ins.
The shop, which was broken into last weekend, formally sold second hand clothes, upcycled furniture, electrical items and household goods.
Chief executive of the Purfleet Trust, Paula Hall said: “This is now the second time the shop has been broken into, but there has also been a series of thefts taking place in the shop.
“It is absolutely devastating and it is because of the series of thefts and break ins that we have decided to shut the shop.”
The shop, which has been closed permanently with immediate effect, opened its door in 2013 with support from Freebridge Community Housing to offer cheaper clothing, furniture and household goods.
“We have been in Fairstead for five years and our lease was due to end in March. We were going to shut the shop up in March, but because of all of this we thought it was best to move that forward,”said Ms Hall.
“I hope you will accept that this was not an easy decision to make for us as we have been committed to making this shop work.
“We opened our shop in 2013 with the help and support of our partners Freebridge Community Housing and with their continued support we have been able to operate for almost five years in this wonderful community.
“We have enjoyed being part of the Fairstead community and wish to thank everyone who has donated to us and kept us going over the years.”
Ms Hall said the shop was never short of donations and would like to thank the community and volunteers for “always keeping the shop running”.
National bakery chain Greggs has been donating cakes, pasties and sandwiches to the charity weekly throughout the year.
The charity’s Karen McKean said: “We would like to say thank you to Greggs for all their support throughout the year. Each week they provide cakes, pasties and sandwiches which help provide meals for vulnerable individuals in our community, and for the generous donation of £500 for our Christmas Gift Appeal.”