Doncaster charity, Firefly, is set to resume its normal hospital shuttle service for cancer patients today, after thieves forced their fleet of vans off the road earlier this week.
Thieves broke into the Northside Truck Centre in Balby Carr Bank and stole catalytic converters from two of Firefly’s vans – rendering them completely unusable yesterday.
The theft was discovered yesterday morning, and drivers from the charity initially believed cataltyic converters had been stolen from all five of the charity's vans.
The charity was then forced to find alternative methods of transport for the 30 patients set to make the 25- mile journey for treatment.
Firefly is hoping to resume its normal service today with the three intact vans, but faces a bill in excess of £3,000 to repair the damage caused to the other vehicles.
Mr Bacchus says a fundraising page has been set up by members of the public to help cover the cost of the repair bill, and added he is very grateful to everyone who has stepped in to help.
He said: “The community really rallied round to help us and we’ve been so touched by the response.
“People in Doncaster are so kind-hearted, it’s amazing.
“We’re all still feeling angry but at the end of the day patients are our top priority and we’ve got to focus on making sure we can continue to take them for their life-saving treatment.”
Firefly has run a free minibus shuttle service between Doncaster and Weston Park Hospital since 2006 and is staffed entirely by volunteers.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Officers were called to the Northside Truck Centre in Balby Carr Bank at about 7am.
“It is reported that a number of Mercedes vans parked at the centre had their catalytic converters stolen.
“Officers are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area to contact police.
“If you have any information, please call 101 quoting incident number 128 of March 21.
“Information can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org”
Anyone wishing to donate money to Firefly should contact the charity directly via their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FireflyCIC