Bowles outdoor centre at Eridge have issued an appeal for help after their minibus was stolen last week.
Staff were contacted lasted Tuesday morning (5th April) by a member of the public saying she had spotted their minibus in woods in Limpsfield near Oxted, whilst she was on her early morning dog walk. She sent the photos above. It had been driven into a tree, windows smashed, door ripped-off and seats removed.
The minibus was taken Monday evening (4th April) or in the early hours of Tuesday (5th). It has come at the busiest time for the outdoor education centre on Sandhill Lane, which provides activities for young people and professional development for organisation.
Richard Hardwick, Bowles’ Director, said the minibus is crucial for them to be able to continue to offer the offsite activities to schools and groups. The charity are appealing to anyone who saw the minibus on Monday night to contact Surrey Police. They are asking people whether they would consider making a donation:
We are just shocked and saddened that anyone would sink so low as to steal a minibus from a children’s charity.
We are now short of a key resource just as we are entering the busy season.
Having adventures in beautiful places is exactly what children need at the moment.
Unfortunately, the stolen minibus was quite old so we don’t expect to get much from our insurance so we are fundraising for the difference, which should enable us to pick up a reliable, low mileage, second hand model.
It has been amazing to see so many friends and family of Bowles supporting our appeal, including our own staff and it would be great if the local community could get behind us, although we do realise that a lot of people are finding it tough right now.Richard Hardwick, Bowles Outdoor Learning and Development
The charity’s fundraising appeal can be found here: Bowles Rocks (Stolen) Minibus Appeal.