HEARTLESS thieves smashed their way into a charity building, leaving thousands of pounds of damage in their wake.

The crooks broke into the Growing Together project, in Fairfax Drive, Westcliff, pulling down insulation and debris and leaving a trail of devastation which has hit charity’s users and volunteers hard.

The thieves left with a haul which included four Toshiba laptops, two cameras, and £50 in cash belonging to charity Trust Links.

This has been a massive set-back for the charity which has set up community allotments to help local people with mental health issues.

Matt King, chief executive of Trust Links, said: “The people here are quite saddened by it because we are only here to do good, we’re not profit-making. “

"We are just here to make it a nice community, and to have this happen is sad. "

He said it was particularly upsetting as the cameras contained hundreds of photographs of the work people had done on the allotments.

Anyone with information about the burglary, which happened between Sunday night and Monday morning, should call Southend police on 101. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. To help the charity call 01702 213134 or email office@trustlinks.org