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Thanks to supporters as donations reach over £11,000 after devastating burglary

Farm trainees with some of the equipment donationsA big thank-you from Brandon Trust to the kind businesses, organisations, and individuals who have donated over £11,000 plus equipment following the devastating burglary at our social enterprise, Elm Tree Farm, before Christmas.

Thieves broke into the farm on weekend of 7-8 December, causing damage and stealing money, woodworking tools, garden equipment and our van.

However, we've had a fantastic response to our appeal for help, with over 150 donations from people in Bristol and beyond. We've been touched by their heart-warming comments, such as:

"So sorry to hear about the robbery. So awful. Elm Tree Farm provides amazing opportunities for people with learning difficulties and autism and I hope you can recover what's lost."

"Only a small gift, but one that comes from the heart!"

"On behalf of my daughter, who you support so brilliantly."

Farm trainee with a lawn mowerIn addition to cash donations – so far totalling a fantastic £11,846.64 – we've also received donations of: woodworking power tools and hand tools; a work bench; chainsaws; lawn mowers; gardening equipment; safety wear, and practical help to improve security and repair damage.

Brandon's Chief Executive, Sue Porto, said: "The burglary was a devastating blow particularly for the 80 people with learning disabilities and autism who work at the farm. Many of them have found it difficult to understand why anyone would target the site.

"However, we've been blown away by the generosity of so many people, not just through the donation of funds and equipment, but by the kind words of support.

"Your swift response has helped everyone at the farm get back on their feet quickly and continue almost as normal. Our spirits have been lifted and we'd like to express our heartfelt thanks."

Beth, a trainee at the farm and supported by Brandon, said: "We were so surprised by the community's support. Without the tools, we wouldn't be able to work or make things. I am so happy we got the tools from the lovely community."

Matt, also a trainee at the farm, said: "I am very grateful to the people of Bristol for these donations. I am just overwhelmed by how much we've got, so thank you very much!"

Can you help?

We still need more help to replace everything that was stolen in the raid. If you're able to make a donation, please visit the Farm's website. Thank you.