Plastic chairs from the new ‘ParkLife Café’ in Harrow Weald have been stolen by thieves overnight.
Volunteers have said they are left in disbelief that someone could steal the chairs from outside the new café.
ParkLife opened its doors for the first time late last year, run by volunteers from the Friends of Harrow Weald Recreation Ground group, the local cafes offers a place for Harrow Weald residents to meet and relax.
Posting via Facebook, the group said: “All of the local people who are part of the Friends of Harrow Weald park group are volunteers, who are keen to make our park and area a better place to be, for the benefit of all of our community.
“They give up their own time for this cause. After a huge amount of effort and hard work being put into taking responsibility for the ParkLife Café we were all totally delighted in the pleasure it has brought to so many people.
“A place to meet, eat, enjoy socialising, look out on to the park and relax.
“So, we are now left feeling totally upset, and disbelieving, to find that chairs have been stolen from the outside area of the café. Just who steals plastic chairs from a community group?
“We try to be understanding and inclusive and offer support to everyone, but it is hard to understand, particularly given that we are a charitable organisation, why those responsible for this theft think it is ok.
“Everything we do, have done, and plan to do, is by the community and with the community in mind.
“Right now we are in the process of making another grant application to raise money to add additional benches and chairs for community use.
“We understand that young people need somewhere to chill and get together, but the Parklife café is a private area and even the outside area (which has a barrier around) is not for use out of opening hours. Using this area is trespassing.
“Taking the chairs is theft – unless you would like to return them. We will be happy to hear from you. Indeed, we do have very clear security pictures, which we can give to the police, who will now be regularly checking the area.
“But perhaps we will just pursue running the café for those who care, and continue trying to get the grant that will provide more community facilities for us all to benefit from – even those who felt the need to take those we have away!
“Perhaps there is just a lack of suitable places for young people to enjoy!
“One of our supportive local residents will be installing an innovative visual solution for the future, which is approved and liked by the local police. Further showing the support that we often receive, and are delighted to be offered, a local company will be delivering protective cages to us, to secure our property.
“We really don’t want to make our community space look uninviting by putting up boarding and hoardings.
“Let’s get away from the mentality of defacing the park mural, adding graffiti to the newly built Kodak FC building, leaving litter behind, and build on the things that benefit the community and make our park and area something to be proud of and enjoy.”