Thieves target West Leeds mental health charity

Shocked: Sharon Burke at the charity's base in Wortley. Photo: Paul Abraham

By Paul Abraham

Mental health charity The James Burke Foundation – which is based in West Leeds – was targeted by callous thieves in the early hours of Saturday morning (11 February).  

Based on the first floor on the Photon House complex on Percy Street, Wortley, the charity was set up by Sharon Burke in memory of her son James.

It runs mental health awareness and suicide prevention courses and relies on donations and goodwill to provide a confidential service for people suffering from mental health issues.

Some of the damage left by thieves.

A shocked and distraught Ms Burke said: “We are only a small charity struggling to survive, but we battle on because we believe in what we do and then this happens. How can someone rob a charity?”

Ms Burke added: “You never expect people to break in to a building like this and smash our locked office door open, take our petty cash money and trash the office when it’s clear to see we’re a charity.  

“It’s disheartening but we’ll dust ourselves down and continue to help the most vulnerable people out there.”

The offices of the James Burke Foundation were ransacked.

Other offices within the building were also targeted and West Yorkshire Police are investigating.

Thieves smashed windows to gain entry.


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