RAIDERS caused more than £1,000 damage to a charity’s clinic... to steal a collection tin containing £1.50.

They smashed their way through the front door and window of Dolphin House Clinic in New Road, Brighton, during the night.

Staff were devastated to find shattered glass covering the entrance of the office the following morning.

The charity has been operating for 36 years.

It provides healthcare, mental and emotional therapy for children aged one to 18.

Charity trustee and relationship therapist Caroline Lovett, 54, said: “It’s just awful and I couldn’t believe this happened. The charity relies on donations and we run on a very small budget.

“The thieves smashed the door window and the side panel, and that’s how they got in.

“We were quoted £1,000 to replace the window and door as well as the charity’s logo which was printed on the glass.

“They took the charity tin which only had about £1.50 in it. We don’t keep money in the clinic.

“We don’t know where to find the money to pay for the repair costs.

“They didn’t ransack the office. We think they were in the clinic very briefly because the alarm went off. We had to clear up the glass quickly because children come into our clinic.

“The police helped us board up the door and side panel.

“We’ve had previous break-ins yet this location is ideal because it is central.”

The clinic offers affordable treatments by donation. Its services include acupuncture, counselling and creative arts therapy.

Christian Taylor, 52 who has worked as a homeopathy therapist for the charity for more than 20 years, said: “It is very unfortunate this has happened.

“The charity’s budget is right on the margin and we do a lot of good work for the community.

“We make our services accessible to all families regardless of their financial circumstances. They pay us whatever they can afford.

“We are well known to schools, families and NHS services.

“We have six people working in the clinic and we are a small but dedicated team who work really hard so it’s really sad that thieves have targeted us.”

Mr Taylor’s wife, Caroline, 48, who has worked at the charity for ten years, said: “This is not the first time we have been targeted. In February 2017 thieves broke in but they couldn’t find anything and nothing went missing.”

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “We received a report of criminal damage at a property in New Road, Brighton, in the early hours of March 7. Enquiries are ongoing.”