NAILSWORTH Guides have started a JustGiving page to raise money after more than £3,000 worth of camping equipment was stolen from their storage shed.

One of the guide leaders Louise Cook said the ‘mindless’ incident had left her and fellow volunteers feeling ‘sick to their stomachs’.

Police were called at 8.15pm on Wednesday, June 7 to the guides’ camp store in Dark Lane, Nailsworth.

Officers found that the shed had been broken into using bolt cutters to clip through three padlocks, and eight six-berth tents - valued at more than £3,000 - and a couple of gas burners had been stolen.

Louise told the SNJ: “All the guide leaders feel sick to their stomachs that people could do this - especially as we are a charity and fundraise hard to buy all this equipment for the girls.

“On Wednesday, June 7, a leader was returning some equipment we had loaned to somebody in Nailsworth to our camp store.

“To reach the store you first have to go through a padlocked gate which had been untouched. On reaching the store she noticed three padlocks all on the ground - they had been cut through with bolt cutters.

“She opened the door and went inside and straight away it was apparent that all the tents were missing from the 1st shelving unit.

“These included the 6 man 'Badminton' tents that the guides use as patrol tents, the 4 man 'Vango' tents we use on overnight/weekend camps, the canvas of a leaders tent (they had left the poles!).

“They also took my state of the art inflatable poles tent which was only purchased last year especially for me as I am registered disabled and rely on a wheelchair and crutches and this tent had the easy access I needed.

“Camping enables the girls to spend time outside, have new experiences and most importantly, have fun.

“However, due to the actions of some mindless members of our community, this year’s camp may be unable to go ahead.

“We have booked to go to Dorset so we can visit Brownsea Island, which is where the first Scout camp took place.

“However, without the camping equipment we may be unable to go.”

While the camp equipment is insured, as a voluntary organisation their funds are limited and any compensation claims could see their premium skyrocket and make their future as a guide group unsustainable.

The group have been overwhelmed by the support of the Nailsworth community, receiving many words of support, offers of tents and one woman – who wishes to remain anonymous – donated a tent worth £1,200 because she was so sickened by the incident.

Nailsworth Guides, who will soon be celebrating their 101st birthday, are in the process of organising fundraising events such a quiz night with refreshments and a raffle.

Louise continued: “We are looking for an alternative store as we are concerned the thieves may try and return now they know equipment is kept there.

“We are so grateful to everybody that is able to offer a donation, no matter how small and we will do everything we can to repay the community in some way.”

If you would like to donate to their fundraiser visit - the group has already surpassed its £200 goal, but much more is needed to replace the equipment.

Call the police on 101 quoting incident number 498 of Wednesday, June 7.

Gloucestershire police issued the following advice on shed security:

Around the shed:

Shut and lock any gates into a back garden.

Secure sheds and garages with grilles over windows, strong hinges and a good lock.

The extra noise made by a gravel path can be a good deterrent.

Return any tools to the shed or garage after use.

Security lights can have a very positive effect, but you must be able to see them from the house.

Display a sign on your shed stating all valuables have been removed.

Inside the shed:

Fit a shed alarm to the inside of the door.

Photograph each item to create an inventory.

Make a note of each serial numbers and record it on Immobilise.

Forensically mark your power tools and other items in the shed.

Decide if the item needs to go in the shed or could it go in a locked garage or your home.

Bicycles and larger garden equipment should be locked to a correctly installed ground anchor or shed shackle, they should also be security-marked and registered with Bike Register.