Canberra’s Koomarri disability charity off road after vandals wipe out entire fleet of cars


Posted

October 10, 2018 09:28:20

Vandals have severely damaged several cars belonging to a Canberra charity that gives mobility to people with intellectual disabilities and acquired brain injuries, devastating its ability to help those in need.

Key points:

  • Cars used to help disabled people left unroadworthy
  • Charity inundated with support
  • Athletics club targeted with arson on same night

Koomarri chief executive Nadine Stephen said the charity’s entire fleet of service vehicles had been damaged, with windscreens smashed, mirrors torn off, and bodies dented.

Ms Stephen said the damage was so extensive that it was difficult to tell how long it would take to get the four cars back on the road, or how much the charity would have to pay.

But she said the true cost of the damage was measured in the hundreds of people Koomarri was unable to help without the cars.

“We deliver support and services to more than 400 people locally, who have no other means of transport, who are socially isolated,” she said.

“It’s obviously a crucial service.

“The people that we support are very upset … we support people to get out and do their groceries, get to medical appointments, and just do those daily activities that everybody else just takes for granted.”

But she said a silver lining to the ordeal was in the show of community support for Koomarri.

“We’ve had hundreds of offers of support, ranging from pocket money from children through to business,” she said.

“It is an opportunity to find something good out of something that is clearly so terrible.”

Ms Stephen urged anybody with information about the vandalism to contact police.

Athletics club loses $200k, priceless archives

Just a few hundred metres from Koomarri’s offices in Woden, an athletics shed was also targeted by vandals, losing an estimated $200,000 in equipment and decades worth of records.

The club’s storage shed was set alight about 11:15pm on Monday evening.

Athletics ACT chief executive James Kaan said the fire was deliberately lit, and the destroyed archives contained more than 60 years of records.

“They’re really a priceless thing for us,” he said.

“A lot of that would be results from the 80s and 90s from athletes living at the AIS competing in Canberra, and we’re not resourced to actually have that stuff put online or saved onto a computer.

“It’s really a bit of a shock.

“The process of rebuilding the shed, rebuilding our stock of equipment is going to take a bit of time.”

Topics:

vandalism,

crime,

law-crime-and-justice,

charities,

community-and-society,

charities-and-community-organisations,

woden-2606,

canberra-2600,

act,

australia



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