A learning disability support centre in Ashton has been targeted by lead thieves who stripped the charity's roof under the cover of darkness.
The thieves used ladders to climb onto the roof of the Vision in People (VIP) centre in Tulketh Road, where they stripped the lead and stole slate tiles.
Staff at the learning disability service, owned and operated by Caritas Care, returned from their Christmas break to find the roof had been stripped.
Staff and volunteers said they were "shocked to return to so much destruction".
The reckless thieves also caused significant damage, with the charity being quoted £1,350 to repair the exposed roof.
A spokesman for Caritas Care said: "It is with great sadness that we returned from our Christmas leave to learn that thieves had gained access to the roof of our learning disability service, and had stolen a large amount of lead.
"This has caused significant damage to the slate tiles and the roof.
"The damage is estimated at approximately £1,350 to get it repaired, an amount of money that charities such as ours can ill afford.
"Our VIP project provides a range of day services to 80 people with learning difficulties and disabilities all year round.
"We deliver invaluable services to the most vulnerable people in our community.
"It’s a great project and is so important to our service users' quality of life.
"But we work on very tight budgets.
"The fundraising efforts we make all year round go to enhancing the provisions we have on offer here at Caritas Care to make lives better for people using our services and in supporting their families.
"An amount such as this should be going towards benefitting these people and not to repair our property that has deliberately been damaged.
"So were shocked to come back after Christmas to so much destruction. We found lead ripped off the roof and slates badly damaged.
"Repairs will cost more than £1,300 and it will have to be done immediately or even more problems will be caused by the winter weather getting in.
"It is so disheartening, and this is much needed funding that could have been used to make a positive difference to people’s lives.
"It’s a big blow to us really."
He added: "If anyone could help us out, even in a small way it would be just fantastic and for a charity where every penny really does count locally."
You can visit here to donate towards essential repairs at the Vision in People centre in Ashton.
Or for some fun fundraising ideas, visit the Caritas Care website
If you have any information, please contact police on 101, quoting crime reference number 04/29458/18