Emma Brock, left and Sammy Nelson at the launch of Community Carers last spring. Picture: Ian Burt

Two local businesses have stepped in to help a hardworking charity shop owner whose premises were targeted by fly-tippers and vandals.

Emma Brock, who runs The Community Shop at Fairstead, was left angry and upset following a string of damage at the Centre Point shop, which has proved a lifeline to many, particularly during the pandemic.

 When she opened up shop on Monday morning Mrs Brock found fly-tippers had dumped a pile of items.

And then just 24 hours later, she discovered CCTV wires at the premises had been cut. 

“I was gutted. I lost all my confidence. I thought, after all I have done for the community, this is the thanks I get,” she said.

A double bed base, a single bed base, mattress and bags of rubbish had been dumped outside the not-for-profit shop, which provides donated items for struggling families. 

“I was angry. We have to pay to get our rubbish taken away. It’s another cost the shop cannot afford,” said Mrs Brock.

She posted details of what had happened on the community shop’s Facebook page  and received messages of support.

 But, Mrs Brock was again left reeling the following day when she found the CCTV had been sabotaged. 

“No way could it have been kids. It was just too high up. These last few days left me feeling is this worth it and why?”

Throughout the pandemic Mrs Brock spearheaded The Community Carers group which has reached out to vulnerable people.

Along with her volunteers, she made food parcels for families struggling financially and for those shielding.

But this week, there was good news as two local businessmen came to her aid.

When Luke Loades and Nick Carter  heard what had happened, they each gave £500 to cover the cost of a new security system for the shop.

And Lynn man Mr Carter, of CSS Security also offered to send a security guard to patrol the premises twice a night for a year.

He said: “I grew up in Fairstead and have mostly fond memories. But with the recent challenges I wanted to help.”

Mr Loades, owner of property company Rounce and Evans, with offices in Lynn and Hunstanton, said: “I just saw it on Facebook and things like that really get on my nerves.  

“Emma is running an extremely important service for the local community so to be targeted like that isn’t fair. 

“Things are hard enough for all of us at the moment without having to contend with that,” he said.

Mrs Brock said their help had made her cry tears of relief and gratitude.

“This has put my faith back. I am tired, so with that and the messages of support it has kept me going,” she said.