A Salford resident has started a crowdfunder after Salford community mental health charity was the target of vandalism, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to their horticulture greenhouse.
Michelle Dennett, Charity Director at START, says the site has been vandalised before and says each event has a huge impact on the community.
She said: “It was a big investment that we made, because we really valued the importance of horticulture to help improve wellbeing, and we invested money in the garden to make it a really calm and tranquil place for people to come to get better and to learn new skills.
“Just at the moment, we all know somebody who is suffering with mental health, I just think that is funding as it is particularly tight, and we try to support as many people as we can with our money, and if we have then got to start repairing property that is damaged and purposely vandalised it just means that potentially some people have to miss out on getting that support, it just frustrates me.”
Local Salford resident Andrew Behan is a stranger to the charity, however he has shown immense resilience after starting a crowdfunder with support from the Salford Mayor and Councillors, asking the community to collect funds to enable CCTV cameras to be installed around the building.
We are so sorry to say that START are being targeted by vandals. #salfordcommunity please get behind us to help prevent this from happening again. @gmpolice @SalfordCVS @WilsonNkurunzi4 @PendletonNW @hamiltonclive @SalfordCouncil @salford_mayor pic.twitter.com/imyfxPQRwh
— START (@STARTinspminds) October 4, 2021
Andrew said: “It’s very disappointing that such a useful community initiative has been targeted by vandalism. I know that the wider community here and throughout Salford will always get behind such initiatives that offer much-needed help in time when it’s been a struggle to provide continued services owing to the amount of cuts to SCC councils budget over the last 11 years.”
Andrew hopes to protect the community project from being targeted again by collecting £250, which will hopefully be matched by the Salford Crowd Funder from Salford City Council.
Andrew hopes that the CCTV equipment will enact as a deterrent on any future incidents of vandalism and is even going to source a local contractor to keep the investment within the local community.
Start use creative arts and horticulture to inspire people to improve their confidence and self-esteem and although a large element of the project has been damaged, the charity are continuing to reach out not just to their visitors but to the vandals as well.
Michelle said: “We’re trying to put some positivity out there, if you are struggling to find something to do, if you’re bored, and that is the reason why maybe you’re mindlessly vandalising our property then our arms are open and we welcome you in and we’d love for them to be part of the solution to fixing the problem.”
The charity are also taking this chance to educate neighboring houses by doing a mail out, asking for support and any young residents to be educated about the charity and the monumental work that they are doing for the Salford community.
To help START get the essential CTTV they need you can donate to Andrew’s crowdfunder through lets help start inspiring minds get CCTV