A Red Cross centre housing community mobility equipment has been targeted by thieves who broke into the building looking for cash.
The building was ransacked by the thieves but they were only able to find around £200 because most cash had already been taken to the bank the week before.
The charity’s centre has now had to close for a week meaning it is unable to issue equipment like wheelchairs, commodes and toilet frames to local residents.
A local newspaper reported that the incident badly affected volunteers, who found the incident “extremely disappointing and painful”.
Michael Lascelles, manager of the Red Cross mobility aids service across Essex, told the Echo: “The thieves broke in through the back door and ransacked the place, looking for money.”
It is not thought that the thieves made away with any mobility equipment.
Last month a division of the British Red Cross in Huntingdonshire near Essex is said to have mistakenly sent letters to around 1,800 people saying that it would be visiting homes to collect mobility aids issued out.
The Red Cross’s mobility hub in Harlow manages the loan of equipment like wheelchairs and walking aids for up to three months which can be renewed by users online or on the phone.
But people began receiving letters before their loan period was up saying that they had exceeded their time limit and would lose their equipment. The Red Cross admitted that the language used in the letters was “alarming”, according to reports.
The Red Cross has since said it will apologise to its customers.