Covid: Barnsley nurse burgled while working 12-hour shift

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image captionAs well as working her nursing shifts, Joanne Birkinshaw has been volunteering to help with the vaccination effort

A nurse has been left "devastated and broken" after her late mother's jewellery was stolen by burglars while she was working a 12-hour shift.

Joanne Birkinshaw returned home from Barnsley Hospital on Saturday night to find a rock had been thrown through a window and her house ransacked.

As well as her mum's jewellery, other items of sentimental value were taken.

The 54-year-old said: "If you gave me a million pounds it can't replace anything that has gone."

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image captionThe nurse said 54 years' worth of memories had been stolen

A nurse in the accident and emergency department, Ms Birkinshaw, of Barnsley, has been working long hours since the start of the pandemic.

The emotional stress of her job has taken its toll and she said when she was confronted with the burglary at her home "it finally broke me".

On top of her nursing shifts, she has regularly been volunteering to work extra hours to help the vaccination effort in the town.

She said: "Last week it snowed and I ran to work - I live three and a half miles away - and there was no other way I could get there.

"Then after I finished giving vaccinations to staff I ran back home."

image captionShe said she wanted to speak of her experience in the hope it would deter thieves from doing it to someone else

She added: "I've given so much and now I feel like I've had everything taken away and I'm devastated.

"They have stolen things that are sentimental to me and worth nothing to anyone else."

Ms Birkinshaw, who has been a nurse for 25 years, said she had been "overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers" who had come forward with offers of help.

"I've had people get in touch wanting to sort out the structural damage caused and offers from electricians of putting CCTV in.

"My friends and family have been amazing too and it's so humbling to know that even strangers care."

South Yorkshire Police is investigating and urged anyone with information to get in touch.

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