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Refugee group to stay put despite Brevik break-ins

THE SHETLAND Solidarity with Refugees group is to keep its collection point at Brevik House in Lerwick despite what appears to have been a second attempted break-in in the space of a week.

Police were called out on Sunday night again after an intruder set off the former NHS HQ’s security alarm, but internal doors leading to the area where donations are stored was secured and this time no damage was caused.

Last week Shetland Solidarity with Refugees volunteer Rita Smith had gone along to the collection point to find many of the donations had been smashed up by vandals – leaving the volunteers feeling “utterly sickened”.

The group had looked into moving the collection point, but have now “decided to stick with Brevik as it is so central and handy for everybody”, Rita said.

The collection point will be open as usual from 12 noon until 4pm on Saturdays from this weekend. You can also donate to a JustGiving page set up following the vandalism, which has so far raised over £1,100.

Items particularly needed at the moment include biscuits, especially high energy protein bars and cereal bars high in vitamins, along with winter clothes – particularly suitable for small men – such as jogging trousers, gloves, jackets, thick jumpers, warm footwear and new underwear.

As usual, sleeping bags and tents are also needed, with the requests coming from the Care 4 Calais charity which is “having a terrible time trying to help folk survive”, Rita said.

Regarding the break-ins, she said it wasn’t clear whether any damage would have been done if the alarms had not been set off on Sunday night. 

Either way, the break-in was unsuccessful and in the next few days external doors and windows will be boarded up with plywood to make the premises more secure.