A Dundee charity has slammed thieves who set fire to toys used by autistic children during a vandalism spree.
“Disgusted” staff returned to Spectrum Dundee on Monday after the festive break to discover damage to the facility.
The centre, on Claverhouse Road, provides an after-school club for children affected by autistic spectrum disorders and their families.
It supports more than 40 families in the local area and was established in 2001.
Play support worker Evelyn Patterson said this was not the first time the charity had been targeted.
Evelyn, 56, said: “It’s just mindless vandalism. The shed roof was broken and the doors were damaged.
“There were two bikes in the shed that were set alight. One of them might be able to be repaired.”
Spectrum secured funding from Asda Kirkton to build the shed last year.
Evelyn added: “I think the shed has been there for well over a year now.
“Given the damage it looks like the shed will have to come down. We couldn’t let the kids outside in case they cut themselves on it.
“There was another incident last summer where the garden area was vandalised. I’m disgusted that someone could come in and do this, we are looking at about £300-£400 worth of damage.”
Families who use the service have rallied round in the hope of raising money for CCTV.
An appeal has also gone out to replace the toys which were damaged.
Charity manager Lori Clark said it appeared others had accessed the garden space after cigarette butts were discovered inside the shed on Tuesday.
She said: “A lot of the items had been scattered outside – the garden has essentially been out of use for the children.
“It appears someone has also been in on Monday night too. The bikes have obviously been damaged in the shed but it is also meant to be sensory garden space for the kids.
“I’m disgusted this has happened, we can’t keep having things like this happening at the centre.
“This is the kids’ outdoor area that they are meant to feel safe in.
“We need to secure £100,000 funding a year, the centre nearly closed down at one point.
“It isn’t a case that we have money aside to spend to fix damages such as this. Parents have contacted us about potentially getting funding for CCTV.”