A GREAT grandmother — who makes dog blankets for the animals she helps rescue — has had her prized sewing machine stolen by burglars.

Barbara Green, aged 75, was shocked to discover her shed, which she uses as a sewing room, and her garage had been ransacked by thieves who made off with a sewing machine and other items.

She uses the sewing machine each day to make blankets which she sells to raises money to put back into the cost of rescuing the pets.

The thieves targeted the pensioner early on July 2 while she was asleep in her home next to the shed.

She believes she may have disturbed them when she got up.

Mrs Green, a widow, of Fern Street, Farnworth, said: “I was traumatised when I realised what had happened the next morning. I don’t know if the people who did this know I rescue dogs but if they do it sucks.

“Everybody around where I live knows me and what I do. This has really knocked me sideways.

“I don’t feel safe now but I have improved security at my home since.”

The sewing machine taken was a rare Necchi model, which had been given to her by a friend.

She has used the machine for years to make three blankets each day during the summer months.

Mrs Green said: “The machine is an old one, they are no longer in production.

“I was a tailoress by trade and a friend, who was very dear to me, bought it for me and she has since died.

“It is a special machine and the people who took it won’t have known the value or the sentimental value of it.

“The sewing machine was my pride and joy.” She said she will not be defeated and will have to use her portable machine to make more blankets.

Mrs Green, who has three sons, four grandchildren and two-great children, has rescued more than 4,300 Staffordshire bull terriers since she started helping to rehome the pets in 1979.

Her work has involved her covering eight counties and doing home checks before allowing the animals to be rehomed.

Burglars are believed to have cut padlocks off the garage and shed using bolt cutters.

A police spokesman from Bolton South Neighbourhood Policing Team said officers were investigating the break-in.

A spokesman said: “Criminals are thought to have gone through a side gate next to her semi-detached home and cut padlocks to get inside.

“No arrests have been made. A fridge was among items taken.

“People with information can call 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.”