Haydock company Handepay Merchant Services has come to the rescue of a local community centre struck by thieves.

Handepay’s cash donation of £1,000 to the Richard Evans Centre on West End Road, Haydock, has replaced equipment including televisions and games consoles taken in the robbery in July.

The centre, which is home to several local community groups including OAPs and a brass band, had most of their equipment stolen. The loss put the future of the community centre under threat as volunteers anticipated it would take months to raise enough money to replace the equipment.

The story of the break-in touched Handepay owner Andy Peake, who decided to step in straight away with an offer of help.

Andy Peake says: “I read the article in the St Helens Star who reported on how the thoughtless actions of some criminals could impact on the lives of many old people.”

“We have been in Haydock for 12 years and are one of the biggest employers in the area. Many of our employees would know people who use the centre and I saw an opportunity to help.”

“I spoke to cllr Deakin, who told me that as a result of the break-in, shutting the doors of the centre for good was being considered. I hope our donation can stop that from happening and that the community groups who use the centre will be able to keep enjoying it for years to come.”

Former mayor, cllr Keith Deakin, who volunteers at the centre, had put up a reward to catch the thieves.