A NEWPORT mental health charity has been left devastated after vandals targeted the centre, resulting in an estimated £1,000 worth of damage.

Volunteers at charity Growing Space, were shocked to return to work this week to discover that vandals had broken in to the centre, based at Kensington Court, Maindee, and set fire to the centres polytunnel, as well as tipping over the greenhouse in a random attack.

The registered charity aims to help adults with mental ill health reach goals and improve their quality of life though real work skills and a support network.

Gavin Mote, co-ordinator of Growing Space, is concerned about the “detrimental effect” the vandalism will have on those involved in the project suffering from mental health.

“Over the Christmas period we suffered from a bad case of vandalism.

“Vandals burnt down the polytunnel and tipped over the greenhouse between December 24 and December 28.

“We close at around 4pm or 5pm so it must have happened at some point during the night,” Mr Mote said.

“The vandals also smashed bottles.”

Mr Mote said that this is not the first time Growing Space has been vandalised but this was one of the most serious cases they have had.

“It has been really upsetting for participants,” he added.

“They are devastated. We only set up the polytunnel six months ago, and it was like and outdoor classroom.”

Mr Mote believes that it will cost between £500 to £1,000 and take until spring to redo the work to rebuild the polytunnel and repair the damage.

“As a mental health charity a lot of the clients have helped to build it and lots of people have been in tears,” he said.

“It has had a detrimental effect on vulnerable clients.

“It has been extremely upsetting and I would like to see more security cameras up here and see the police keeping an eye on the site,”

A police spokesman said: “Sometime between 3pm on December 24 and 3 pm on December 28, damage was caused to a work bench and two greenhouses at the Kensington Court Day Centre in Newport.

“Anyone with any information is urged to contact Gwent Police quoting log 168 29/12/13.”