VOLUNTEERS at a community café were left “devasted” after arriving to find broken glass and rubbish strewn everywhere.

Café in the Park in Beggarwood was again targeted by vandals on Friday, with staff arriving on Saturday morning to find a mess outside.

A post on the café’s Facebook page said: “We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour around the community centre and we will share CCTV information with the police.”

Staff cleared the mess but warned customers to be careful of broken glass.

It is not the first time the café has been targeted by vandals, and in response the community association decided to launch a fundraising appeal to fund CCTV cameras.

Since launching in February, the community association has raised more than £500 towards its £1,500 target to cover the cost of the cameras.

Nick Elms, chair of the community association, told the Gazette the group who caused the damage had thrown around 50 empty bottles of alcohol at the walls of the building, and carved their initials in the benches. 

He added: "We spent around £700 on those benches. We're a charity and our volunteers had to spend an hour clearing all the glass and rubbish when they got in. We're a cafe for the community so to have to spend time clearing up is annoying."

Nick said residents reported the group gathering from around 5.30pm. 

He added: "It's a secluded spot. With everything going on it's one more thing we don't need. It was only the first weekend we had re-opened."

Clare Pearce, who launched the GoFundMe page on behalf of the community association, said: “In light of recent anti-social behaviour incidents and the outpouring of support from the local community, we have decided to start a fundraiser to protect our community café space by installing a CCTV system that will hopefully help to deter or identify the culprits responsible.”

The community café is run by the not-for-profit community association charity, described as a “welcoming social space, with a community café, for visitors from either end of the age spectrum”.

The police have been asked for further information on the incident on Friday.

To donate to the café’s fundraising appeal click here.