A CHARITY and a business have been hit by an overnight wrecking spree.

Vandals struck in Farnworth, smashing windows of a minibus and a van used by Zac’s Youth Bars, and a van belonging to Copy Print Services.

Equipment belonging to the firm and van keys were also stolen.

The vans and bus were parked in a secure car park belonging to the print business, which lets the charity use the space.

The attack came after Grosvenor nursery school and day care centre’s garden was ruined by vandals the previous night. The land is adjacent to the targeted car park

John Hynes, managing director of Copy Print Services, said: “Lisa Whittaker, the office manager, came in at half past seven on Wednesday morning to open the gates and the padlock had been forced open.

“When she looked around to see what had happened she noticed the windows of the van were smashed. Our mechanical stair climber, which is worth about three grand, was gone. They had broken the windows of the vehicles and the front windscreens were smashed.

“It’s the first time we’ve had any problems. I’ve worked in Farnworth for 20 years and I’ve not had any issues at all.”

Tracey Wilkinson, community engagement officer for Zac’s Youth Bars, which helps youngsters, said: “We have a minibus and a van that Copy Print Services kindly let us store in their secure car park for five years now and we’ve never had any issues.

“On Wednesday morning we came in and had a message from them saying that the yard had been broken into. We found out about the nursery, and the car park is back-to-back with it.

“It’s disappointing. We only have one minibus. We are a small charity.”

Zac’s Youth Bars offers services for 10-18-year-olds and uses the minibus to transport youngsters to activities. A volunteer drives the van and offers to move items for people for a donation, a service which has raised £550 over the past month.

Ms Wilkinson said: “We now have to cancel our events as we can’t transport the kids. It’s our young people who are suffering from it all.

“We have put a post on Facebook and have already received £80 within an hour which is amazing. It’s blown us away.

“There was nothing in the vehicles. It’s mindless. A small incident like this is really a big incident for us.

“It impacts us financially, not just paying for the damage but we can’t get donations either.”

A GMP spokesman has confirmed that incidents of criminal damage occured at the nursery on Lord Street and at commercial premises on Mather Street during the night of Tuesday 3 March.