TEARS have been replaced by smiles after the community joined forces to show that there are more good people than bad when mindless yobs trashed a ‘wellbeing’ garden in a centre for the elderly.

Vandals broke into the grounds of Thicketford Day Centre overnight Monday and destroyed the garden area, smashing flower pots, tables and chairs.

The people the centre supports and staff were said to be left “deeply saddened” to see what had happened when they arrived on Tuesday.

The popular centre in Tonge Moor is to help senior citizens to remain independent.

But this week the centre has been inundated with offers of help, so much so they are holding a special day in which people can donate items to restore the garden, which not only brings pleasure to those who use it but ensure they stay active.

John Livesey, Chief executive of Bolton Cares said: “We were saddened by the damage that was done to the garden at the Thicketford Centre.

“Older people who attend our centre, along with our dedicated team, have worked hard to make the garden a pleasant and relaxing place.

“To see the way it was destroyed is heart-breaking.”

He added: “We have, however, been absolutely blown away by the community response and are organising a day for volunteers to help us rebuild the garden for the enjoyment of everyone.”

Argos has offered to donate garden furniture and local business Shaun Hill from SJH Powerwashing Services is providing power wash services for the area just after hearing about what had happened.

People  who wish to help can make donations of plants for the garden and the greenhouse, seeds, plant pots, planters, seeds and other garden items.

A day will be organised in which volunteers can help restore the area.

And the centre is appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to get in touch so the centre can pass on details to the place.

Those interested in helping should ring centre on 01204 337018.