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Community farmer pays tribute to public after break-in
A COMMUNITY farm owner has thanked people for their ‘absolutely phenomenal’ support following a recent break-in.
Fancy’s Farm, in Portland, was broken into on Friday, March 28 and more than £600 was taken from a till and donation pot.
The site’s exterior fence was cut open and an office window was smashed.
Owner Su Illsley said the farm was on the up after a weekend to forget.
She said: “We’ve had donations into our PayPal, we have had offers of help, and we have had numerous amounts of people joining our Facebook group. It’s been ace.
“There’s just over £200 in there and there was nothing in there before.”
Donations have come in all shapes and sizes.
Twelve-year-old Macy Phelps gave £70 to the farm.
She took part in IPACA’s Tenner Challenge, where she had to come up with a business idea. She made wine glass charms and guardian angels.
After a month, Macy had to repay £10 to the school and donate 40 percent of the profits to a charity of her choice – she chose Fancy’s Farm.
Commenting on the donation, Mrs Illsley said: “It’s brilliant. This place is for children. That really shows what the kids think of us.”
Generous customers of Tesco on Portland have also donated more than £200.
The store’s community champion Debbie Lindoe said: “When I heard about the break in at the farm I was angry that all the donations they had collected had been stolen.
“I wanted to help so I arranged a collection bucket on each of our checkouts.
“Thanks to our very generous customers, we were able to present a cheque to the farm.”
Last week also saw a number of new animals appear on the farm, including ducklings and goat kids.
Mrs Illsley said she hoped people would come along and meet the new residents.
She said: “People can come along and see the new life being born on the farm.
“We’re just looking forward, never look back. We have got the Easter holidays coming up. We have got an Easter egg hunt on the 19 and 20 April. It’s business as usual.”
The broken fence and window have since been repaired and plans are being made to improve the site’s security.
Mrs Illsley said: “We are looking at an alarm system to try and prevent it from happening again.”
A £250 reward has been put up by one of the farm’s supporters for anyone who is able to provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of the offender(s).
n Anyone with information is advised to contact Dorset Police on 101, quoting incident number 29:99.
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