VOLUNTEERS and members of Young Melksham were devastated to discover that their Canberra Centre base had been targeted by vandals.

A wall at the centre in Spa Road has been pulled down and chairs that had been left outside on Saturday afternoon (March 11) have been broken.

Gemma Howell, youth work manager for Young Melksham, said: “I believe it happened on Saturday afternoon. Some of the neighbours apparently called the police after they saw youths causing damage. The wall that comes up to the front door had been pulled down, some of the bricks were loose but not enough for that to happen without force.

"As well as that a number of our chairs we use for the children were smashed up at the front of the building.

“When I walked to the centre on Monday I could have cried, it was really upsetting to see. After all of the work that we do, I couldn’t believe that someone could do this. It was just horrendous.

"We do our hardest to keep the place together and keep it running for the groups who come here.”

One of the trustees, Jon Hubbard, posted pictures of the damage online and the community has rallied around Young Melksham and the Canberra volunteers.

“The support we have had from the community is wonderful, everyone has been so supportive. I think we may soon be able to fix everything with help from members of the public. It makes you really appreciate the local community,” added Miss Howell.

Wiltshire Police is investigating the incident.

Community coordinator Alex Trombetta said: “It is sad to hear of criminal damage of any kind, but it is particularly disappointing when community centres like the Canberra Centre in Melksham are targeted. We understand how upsetting this must be for the owners. Enquiries have been carried out and we would continue to appeal to anyone with information to contact us on 101.”

Young Melksham hosts youths clubs for different age groups on weekday evenings.