Cruel thieves stole the £5,000 proceeds of Bristol-based charity, HorseWorld’s Christmas carol concert just hours after the service.

The charity hosted the annual event on Sunday, as a thank you to the local community for their dedicated support throughout the year.

But that evening the HorseWorld offices were broken into and the money taken.

Fundraising manager, Elizabeth Goddard said staff were absolutely devastated to hear the news as this is an important fundraising event for the charity that has had to cope with rising feed bills.

“This could not have come at a worse time for HorseWorld,” she said.

“This winter we are trying to pay for enough hay to feed over 150 horses. Hay has virtually doubled in price this year to almost £6 per bale and the money that was taken would have fed the rescued horses for over a month.

“We are devastated that this has happened. After all the hard work the staff and volunteers put in and the generosity of our supporters, we cannot believe someone could rob a charity at Christmas.”

The charity has appealed to anyone who may have information regarding the break-in to contact the police straight away.

Contact Avon and Somerset Police on 0845 456 7000.