CHARITY workers have been left to work in flooded rooms after weeks of rain and persistent lead thefts from their roof.
Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) in Cannon Street, Accring-ton, which helps more than 800 community groups, has had to cut its services after the ceiling of the upstairs offices collapsed following days of heavy rain.
The charity suffered its first lead theft in May but cheeky thieves returned and stole more lead after repair workers had erected scaffolding to access the damage.
Chief officer of CVS, Christine Fish, said: "I really just want to highlight the damage that lead thefts cause. It’s not just a harmless theft of scrap metal as many people think, it has left us with thousands of pounds worth of damage.
"We have nine offices in our Cannon Street building and the flood damage has left three people without a desk, one staff member has had to move to our Clitheroe office and new members of staff have had to have their start dates put back because we haven’t got the space for them to work from."
Downpours over the past three months have left the building badly damaged and because of the roof thefts rooms are constantly flooding.
The charity’s work, which supports groups from children’s sport teams and Brownie packs to larger organisations such as Maundy Grange, has been completely disrupted and it now faces a £14,000 repair bill.
As the charity is based in a listed building, CVS members must replace the lead roof and cast iron guttering exactly as it was, which means repairs have been lengthy.
Police are now appealing for information on the thefts as they believe a large vehicle may have been used to transport the lead.
Anyone with information is urged to contact police on 0845 125 3545 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.