A MUM has been left frightened in her own home after the van she uses to hand out charity food parcels was targeted by thugs three times in a week.

Gemma Allan, 37, woke up to the sound of the windscreen and window of her van being smashed in the early hours of Monday morning - leaving her and her children petrified.

This comes after she had three of her tyres slashed over two days.

The mum of nine, who lives on Second Avenue, Canvey, set up a food bank “Home from Home” in her garage to help those in need during the pandemic, and used the van to deliver essentials to families across Castle Point.

Gemma said: “We’re just really shaken up to be honest.

“I haven’t slept that much. I’m frightened.

“Everyone was terrified.

“It woke the whole family up.

“I just cried.

“The kids were crying and they were frightened.

“It’s made me frightened in my home. I don’t want to show my face.”

Gemma is fearful of another incident.

She said: “We had two tyres slashed Wednesday night, woke up on Thursday morning to another tyre slashed and then this happened.

“I’m thinking what’s next?

“Is it going to be my house?

“We have young kids.

“They have no morals.”

Home from Home was set up by the selfless mum and her partner Paul Hazelton with their two friends back in January.

During the lockdown crisis, Home from Home helped up to eight families a day.

Although restrictions have eased, Gemma is still helping around 16 families a week.

She said: “We’re happy to do anything for anyone.

“It costs nothing to be kind.

“We also collect furniture for people or if they’re in need of it we go out and find it and deliver it to them.

“We have got four families that are waiting on us for food and we can’t get to them.

“I need to go and get the food before I even think of going to deliver any parcels.

“This has really set us back.”

To donate to Home from Home, visit www.gofundme.com/f/lets-help-struggling-families-that-need-us