COMEDIAN Frankie Boyle yesterday donated £5,000 to a Glasgow foodbank which lost thousands of pounds in a burglary its organisers condemned as “inhumane behaviour”.
Greater Maryhill Foodbank was targeted over the weekend by raiders who broke in through the roof and took supplies earmarked for vulnerable families.
There were fears the volunteer-run centre’s services would be devastated by the theft, but Boyle’s cheque was among several received by organisers yesterday following a public appeal.
The centre, which is staffed by about two dozen volunteers, helps more than 1,000 people each month with clothes, food and support.
Funds raised by the grassroots organisation for a young girl injured in a hit-and-run incident were among the items discovered stolen by “devastated” volunteers on Monday morning.
Founder Julie Webster, who described the foodbank as a “place of sanctuary”, said: “I just can’t believe someone would do this to us. I’d rather that they had robbed my house than robbed this place. This is the most disgusting act of inhumane behaviour I’ve ever seen in my whole life.
“I have got people who come to my door on their knees, and somebody has robbed us like this. It’s unforgivable.”
Last August, Boyle donated £2,000 towards the foodbank, a month after his friend and fellow comic, Kevin Bridges, gave £1,000 in food vouchers.
Ms Webster said Boyle had been a “fantastic supporter” of the foodbank and volunteers were “delighted he has stepped in to help so quickly”. She added: “We cannot express our gratitude enough.”
As part of its work in the Maryhill area, the foodbank had raised a four-figure sum to help send Chelsea Sommerville and her family on holiday. The ten-year-old suffered a broken leg after being struck by a car last year. Her friend, 11-year-old Sophie Brannan, died in the incident, which also left her uncle Joseph Lloyd with a fractured shoulder.
Ms Webster said: “This isn’t just a foodbank, it’s a community hub. It is where people feel valued and feel like they mean something – a place of sanctuary. I’ve worked so hard to create a safe environment over the past two years, and now it doesn’t feel like the foodbank anymore.”
In a video posted on the foodbank’s Facebook page, Ms Webster appealed for anyone with information about the “disgusting act of crime” to come forward.
In the wake of her appeal, other members of the public came forward with support and money, including one man who sent a cheque for £1,000.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Around 8:45am on Monday, police were called to reports of a housebreaking at the Greater Maryhill Foodbank. Inquiries are continuing.”
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