A charity that supports people with learning disabilities has been “devastated” by two leaks that have turned their shop into a “lake”.
The Superstar Arts charity shop in Worthing was badly damaged when it was flooded during the night following an upstairs leak.
And the charity was dealt another blow this week when a second leak caused even more damage to the building and pushed back the organization’s hopes of reopening.
Superstar Arts chief executive Jo Sullivan said it was a “nightmare” and could see the charity, which provides creative educational projects and work experiences for people with learning disabilities, lose more than £5,000.
“The water was just pouring into the store and it’s obviously been for quite some time,” she said.
“The damage was considerable; The leak was very serious and we could not salvage anything.
“We’ve lost 80 percent of our holdings.”
Superstar Arts has only had the charity shop for a year and a “huge” effort has been expended to make the unit a safe and welcoming place for customers and service users working in the shop to gain valuable experience.
“It’s taken us until now to make it look brilliant,” said Ms. Sullivan.
“We put a lot of work into making it look good and also a place for our adults with learning disabilities to sell their handmade products.
“It wasn’t just a charity shop; it was also an outlet for the things they make.
“It was also a place where our boys could do an internship.”
Ms Sullivan said the store’s abrupt closure has upset many users of the service and there are fears the leak could hit the store again in the future.
“Some of our guys are autistic and their routine has been really disrupted,” she said.
“It was very annoying.”
A fundraiser aThe organization has now launched an appeal to cover lost income and employees’ wages.
Almost £2,000 has been raised out of the £4,860 target so far.
“Damage to the building is covered by the agent’s building insurance,” Ms. Sullivan said.
“Our insurance covers the operating and office equipment.
“But none cover our daily loss of earnings or staff wages.
“We’re such a small charity with such tight budgets that we really relied on that income.
“We’ve built a really good business and now we’re losing £200 a day.
“It’s really discouraging.”
But Ms Sullivan said her faith was “restored” following the “amazing” response from the community as residents donated and also bought items from Superstar Arts’ website.
“Everyone was really supportive, which really helped,” she said.
“It really restores your faith in humanity when the community comes together to help.”
To donate, visit localgiving.org/appeal/flood/
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20759913.superstar-arts-charity-shop-worthing-flooded-twice/?ref=rss The Superstar Arts charity shop in Worthing has been flooded twice