‘Much valued’ special needs unit targeted by vandals

Damage caused to the poly tunnell at Bannvale Horticultural Unit �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1629-282EB
Damage caused to the poly tunnell at Bannvale Horticultural Unit �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1629-282EB
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An incident of vandalism at a Horticulture Unit for adults with learning disabilities has caused around £2,500 of damage to property and left those involved with the project ‘very distressed’.

Police are appealing for witnesses after criminal damage was caused to the polytunnel at Bannvale Horticultural Centre, Moyallen Road, Gilford sometime between 1pm on Sunday, July 3 and 9am on Monday, July 4.

It is not the first time vandalism has taken place at the unit, with incidents of a similar nature having occurred in the past.

The Assistant Director for Disability Services at the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Miceal Crilly, said: “The Horticulture Unit at Bannvale offers a much-valued day opportunity for people with disabilities from the area, giving them the chance to develop their gardening skills and enjoy the social interaction of working together.

“Our service users and staff at Bannvale take great pride in their work and we know that they are really appreciated by the local community who come to buy their goods.

“Everyone at Bannvale has been very distressed by this incident and that we will have to use public money to repair this unnecessary damage.”

MLA Carla Lockhart visited the premises following the attack.