Sunday 29 October is Graffiti Removal Day. It’s not about street art, it’s about raising awareness of spray paint vandalism.
This year hits very close to home with several of our vehicles being vandalised with not even a tag, but what seems the work of a local enraged about parking. These vehicles provide transport for the vulnerable and elderly in our community, who will now have to board vehicles that have been vandalised with a clear message of hate and aggression: ‘We don’t want you here.’ It’s a sad state when there is no room for charity on our public streets.
“Our vehicles are of course insured for damage, but it takes time to get them fixed,” explains Kate Melhopt, CEO of South Eastern Community Connect. “And while we wait for them to be repainted we have to decide whether we want to expose our clients to that level of hostility or cut back on the trips we provide until the cars are fixed. It is very sad to see our clients feel humiliated when they have to travel on vehicles bearing a message of anger and hate towards the service. Our clients depend on the transport, and these vehicles are just as important as any privately owned car. We have the same right to be on the road and in public parking spots as all other motorists. It is a sad time when charity vehicles get targeted because someone else wants the spot they happen to be parked in.”
South Eastern Community Connect is a community organisation that, among many other services, provides transport to the elderly and those with mobility issues and people living with dementia.