CALLOUS thieves have stolen hundreds of pounds worth of items from a charity shop for the blind within its first two months of opening.

Dorset Blind Association opened its first ever store in Ferndown, which also delivered a resource centre with specialist equipment for blind and partially sighted people.

However, £200 worth of equipment has been stolen from the shop in Penny’s Walk, as well as hundreds of pounds worth of general stock.

Jonathan Holyhead, CEO of Dorset Blind Association, said as a consequence of the thefts, the charity has been forced to withdraw its resource centre service.

“I wouldn’t have thought that people could stoop so low,” he said.

“Any shoplifting is criminal and wrong, period, but to take from charity shops beggars belief.

“I am especially gutted that the thieves have forced us to suspend the equipment service. In the short time the shop has been open, this has proved to be extremely popular and valuable to people in the Ferndown area who suffer from serious sight loss. Having that equipment on open display so people could see and touch it was especially useful, but people are now denied that service because of the callous, selfish and criminal actions of just a few morally bankrupt members of the community.”

Mr Holyhead said: “This will all cost money which otherwise could be spent on what the Dorset Blind Association does best – providing really useful help and support services for people in Dorset who sadly suffer from serious sight loss. I really wish I didn’t have to spend our hard earned cash this way, but I feel I have no choice.”

He added: “Dorset Blind Association is not a wealthy charity. We work incredibly hard to bring in the funding we need each year, and we always make sure we spend our money carefully and wisely to make it stretch as far as possible. That £500 would have paid to keep both our mobile equipment and advice service vehicles on the road for five weeks, so the thieves aren’t just robbing our shop, they are directly stealing from the blind and partially sighted people in Dorset who will miss services that money would have funded.”