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The People’s Orchestra suffers setback after £2,000 of equipment stolen from van

By Robert Cox | West Bromwich | News | Published:

A musical charity has been left reeling after robbers took thousands of pounds of equipment which had been locked in the back of their van.

Left reeling – members of The People’s Orchestra, which has been targeted by thieves

A bulky public address system, cables, wires and IT equipment were all snatched from the back the van belonging to The People’s Orchestra. The robbers even left with a bag of teabags.

It is the second time the West Bromwich-based charity has suffered a setback in recent months after a large number of music stands were previously taken from inside a car.

Assistant conductor Freddie Miles and Principal conductor Iain Masson with The People's Orchestra in 2014.

The latest crime was carried out in Halesowen over the weekend and first identified by charity bosses as they prepared to set off for rehearsals in Birmingham on Sunday.

Managing Director, Sarah Marshall, has estimated that the stolen equipment could cost as much as £2,000 to replace.

She said: "It’s truly heartbreaking after fundraising to buy the kit, that someone has taken it.

"It is very disappointing as people try so hard for us to raise the money in the first place.

"We seem to be getting these knock-backs just as we are trying to take steps forward.

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"It makes things very difficult for us and there are some projects which we had wanted to put on which will now have to go on hold indefinitely until we can afford to replace what we have lost."

A spokesman for West Midlands Police, said: "Police were alerted to a theft from a van which is believed to have occurred between 10am on September 7 and 4pm on September 10.

"Our investigations are ongoing. Anyone with information should call 101."

The People’s Orchestra was established by Sarah in 2012. It was formerly based at The Public and now has its offices at West Bromwich Town Hall.

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It currently consists of around 70 amateur musicians who rehearse at Trefoil House in Birmingham and do four concerts each year.

The charity is also able to offer work placements and has helped around 250 people back into work.

The Orchestra's next performance, a concert called 'Fantastic Beats and Where to Hear Them', is on October 14 at West Bromwich Town Hall.

Sarah, added: "We have got things coming up very shortly and this now makes it very difficult to do any sound recording as they have taken a lot of the cables which we would need.

"Being a charity it really impacts what we do and our work to get people back into work."

To help get back on their feet, the charity has set up a fundraising page online.

Visit www.gofundme.com/sbsed-somone-stole-our-teabags to donate.

Robert Cox

By Robert Cox
Senior Reporter - @rcox_star

Senior Reporter covering news in Wolverhampton.

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