MEMBERS of a local Girls Brigade company who faced the possibility of not being able to complete their Duke of Edinburgh expedition after burglars stole camping equipment from the home of one of their leaders, will be able to go ahead now thanks to the generosity of Ulster Star readers.
Last week we reported that the newly built home of Laura Wilson, an officer in Elmwood Presbyterian Church GB and her husband James had been broken into.
The couple themselves suffered a devastating loss of thousands of pounds worth of wedding gifts.
But Laura was more concerned that the theft of the camping gear mean the girls would miss out.
But within hours of the paper coming out Banbridge company Downshire Camping had offered five three-man tents to the company. There were also kind offers of help from a businessman as well as Martin Gillespie of the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
Laura said she was very grateful for the help.
She said: "It means the girls doing their expeditions will now be able to do them together. We had even thought of staggering their expeditions.
"If we had not been given the help we received this week we would have definitely have struggled.
"Even though we have still got a lot of our own personal stuff taken at least some good has come out of this. A businessmen contacted us and just said that if we are short of any equipment whatsoever to give him a ring, which is really very generous of him. This means the girls are not going to be disadvantaged in any way now."
The equipment was stolen by burglars who broke into Laura and James's newly constructed home at Pentworth Green.
The couple themselves lost up to £10,000 worth of possessions, many of them wedding gifts, including Louise Kennedy crystal, a Wii , laptop, IT equipment, clothes and a washing machine.
It is believed the thieves broke into the new house in an attempt to steal the kitchen which has yet to be installed.
They forced open the patio doors and garage door and rummaged through the 50 boxes which had been left in the house for storage.
Tents and other equipment donated by Downshire Camping to Elmwood Girls' Brigade. Pictured in tent: (I-r) Louise Preston from Downshire Camping, Laura Wilson - Officer and Karen Williamson - GB Captain, with some of the girls from the GB. US4709- 359DW