A BUNDABERG community group has been left devastated and hot under the collar after discovering its shade sail was stolen.
YMCA Bundaberg CEO Phill Sellwood returned from his holidays to learn the shade protection, worth about $4000, had been taken sometime during the Christmas and New Year period.
"On Thursday we had some Work for the Dole participants working in that area putting pavement down," he said.
"They asked why we had removed the shade sail because they were working in the heat.
"That's when we made some inquiries and realised it had been taken."
Mr Sellwood said the YMCA invested time and money to beautify the area which was popular with many groups to hold barbecues and gatherings.
"We went to the expense of getting picnic tables for people with disability to come up," he said.
"The way we fund things like that is we apply for grant funding or contribute towards it ourselves."
A YMCA Facebook post about the theft has been shared more than 350 times and reached almost 30,000 people.
The post read: "We feel sorry for the person who took it and no doubt they will be very proud to install it at their house.
"Obviously the neighbours won't miss seeing an 8 x 7 metre shade sail being installed and would be happy to let us know.
"BTW the area from which they stole it is used for gatherings for people with disability, seniors groups and any other community members that want to enjoy our facility."
Mr Sellwood said the theft had been reported to police and pleaded with the thieves to return it.
"We just want our shade back," he said.
"We would be very happy to see it dropped back on our lawn."