A GANG of yobs caused hundreds of pounds of damage to a mental health charity garden - once again.

Growing Together Shoeburyness, Elm Road, Shoebury, run by independent mental health and wellbeing charity Trust Links, suffered the damage caused by the three youths.

The hooligans, aged between 15 and 17-years-old, are described as being slim and wearing hoodies, tracksuit trousers and trainers and entered the garden at 8.55pm on Monday.

The charity say they may have gone home with black smears on their clothes from the anti-climb paint that has been put on the garden’s fences since the last break-in.

CCTV images indicated that the three youths may well be the same three that last attacked the garden on December 3 last year.

During that incident the yobs damaged wooden structures at the community garden.

The latest vandalism to the garden included flooding the growing polytunnel, smashing pots, breaking a tree, damaging the duck house and damaging seedlings planted by schoolchildren from Friars Primary School.

The charity estimates the damage to be about £500.

Charity bosses say more importantly it is the cost to the morale of the people who enjoy and benefit from the tranquillity and positive benefits of coming to the garden each week.

Matt King, chief executive of Trust Links, has hit out at the yobs.

He said: “We are all upset by this further damage to the Growing Together Shoeburyness community garden.

“The project benefits so many different groups in Essex including adults with mental health problems and learning disabilities, a women’s group, youth groups, school groups, families and toddlers.

“Damage such as this means resources are diverted from our important work with vulnerable children and adults from the local area.”

The charity also urged anyone who witnessed the incident to report this to Essex Police.

This is the fifth time the charity garden has been targeted over the last few years.

In December last year, thugs forced their way into the garden, smashing furniture and garden structures and throwing plants around the site.

Days earlier, yobs slashed a plastic green house and set fire to children’s books and toys.

The charity site was also targeted in January last year and the team decided to raise more than £900 for security cameras.

They now feel it doesn’t help deter people from doing this damage.

Trust Links is a mental health and wellbeing charity working to support people with mental health problems.

It provides a range of services including therapeutic gardening through the Growing Together projects.