A VOLUNTEER-RUN community hub has been set back by hundreds of pounds after it was targeted twice in one week.

The popular Victoria Community and Youth Centre in Whitefield had saved about £800 to upgrade its disco system for the dance, drama and young people's activities held at the venue.

It is understood that thieves stole a small quantity of lead, valued at about £20. But the team says the damage they have caused will cost more than £800 to fix.

Volunteers arrived at the site on Tuesday and Wednesday morning to find that tiles on the roof of the Charles Street building had been damaged overnight. They say they have reported the theft and damage to the police.

Charity chairman Dean Hamer, aged 31, said: “They have tried to remove the lead but in the process, they have ripped up roof tiles, pulled out insulation, and left a gap, which means that water is getting into the roof and causing damage. We have had terrible weather conditions too. We have had to remove all of the lead because we cannot risk this happening again.

“It is going to be near-impossible to catch whoever is responsible. Why would you target a community centre? It is there for the community at the end of the day.

"Something like this is a lot of money to us. We have £230 in our account. We have to find all of this money ourselves. It is a very difficult situation for us. We had saved that money up over several months, with the plan to wall-mount our speaker system and install disco lights for the youth club, dance and drama groups.”

The team behind the running of the centre, made up solely of volunteers, says it has fixed outgoings of between £1,100-£1,200 each month for its mortgage and bills. Income is generated by hiring the building out to various groups, and through funding bids.

The centre is already undergoing improvements, and the charity has recently paid out £5,500 to replace the ceiling tiles throughout the centre. They have also benefited from an £8,750 grant from Bury Council to install LED lighting, re-plaster and upgrade the entrance to the building.

The centre is used by several hundred people each week. "Victoria is a massive asset to this community", Mr Hamer said, "It is of huge value. We want to make it more sustainable, more energy efficient and more welcoming for everyone."

Victoria Community and Youth Centre began as a tenants and residents association, meeting at Whitefield Community Primary School on the Victoria estate.

The group formed a youth club and its work expanded, allowing them to purchase and move into their current premises in 2013.

From there, it operates the youth club as well as health and safety classes, first aid training, a job club, a food bank and more. In addition, it runs an allotment.

To donate to the centre, or to get involved, contact the team via their Facebook page, Victoria Community & Youth Center, or visit vcyc.org.uk.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed that they received two reports of theft and criminal damage at a property on Charles Street, Whitefield last week.