Callous Gallatown theft will only make us stronger

Anne-Marie McMeekin Shuggy Hughes from Gallatown Community Hub.
Anne-Marie McMeekin Shuggy Hughes from Gallatown Community Hub.
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Community groups left devastated after having thousands of pounds stolen in a break in, say they will not be beaten by the callous theives.

Volunteers in Kirkcaldy are picking up the pieces after the Gallatown Gala Community Hub was broken into.

Thieves made off with a safe and a number of cash boxes containing vital funds raised by various community groups based at the centre.

The incident happened sometime between 10.30 pm on Monday 16. and 9.00 am on Tuesday, January 17. at the group’s premises in St Clair Street.

Anne Marie McMeekin, chairman of the Gallatown group, who discovered the break in, told the Fife Free Press the theft was an attack on not just the charity but the community as a whole.

“It’s a despicable act,’’ she said. ‘‘They have stolen from a charity and from the many volunteers whose sole aim is to try and make Gallatown a better place for those who live here.

“They have stolen from children, families and pensioners, all of whom use the centre. It’s sickening.’’

However, Anne Marie said she has been heartened by the reaction of many folk in Gallatown who have already dropped in to lend their support for the group.

“We will not be beaten by this,’’ she added. ‘‘ We’ve built this place up from nothing and will not see it die just because of some heartless individual has no respect for what we do.”

Shuggy Hughes, project worker for the YMCA-run Link Up Gallatown initiative, said it was unclear just how much money had been taken, but it was expected to run into thousands of £s.

“Because the safe contained all of the various organisations financial records, we are still assessing the full extent of the theft,” he said.

“It’s particularly sad as whoever is responsible for the theft could have come to us asking for help, and we would have found away to do so.

“There has been a massive effort to get this place up and runnin,g and that was built upon trust, so it’s hugely disappointing.

“However the theft is already bringing the community closer together which is very encouraging.”

Detective Constable Mike Nodes, Kirkcaldy CID said the centre staff had been left deeply disappointed by the theft which was intended for investment in local projects,

“Anyone who remembers seeing any suspicious activity in the area between Monday evening or Tuesday morning should contact police immediately,” he said.

“In addition, anyone with information that can help us identify the culprits is also asked to get in touch. by calling Police Scotland on 101 or alternatively Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.