Vandals broke down fences to steal valuable equipment from a Derby special school.
An outdoor area at St Giles School, in Chaddesden, was left substantially damaged in the incident which took place yesterday, Tuesday, March 16.
After breaking down fences to get in, the trespassers trampled over woodland at the school’s forest area, based at its Hive Provision site, next to Derbyshire County Cricket Club, by Pentagon Island.
A bonfire canopy was then cut down and stolen from the area which provides extra provision for children with special educational needs.
The canopy, which the children used to sit under while learning, was worth in excess of £100.
Clive Lawrence, executive head teacher at St Giles School, shared the news of the damage suffered on the school’s Facebook page on Tuesday morning.
Since then, he says he has been inundated with offers of help, with a Go Fund Me page set up by parents to fund new equipment so far raising more than £800.
Mr Lawrence said: “At a time when children with special education needs and disabilities really need to be outdoors to support their wellbeing, this thoughtless act has denied our pupils this opportunity.
“However, I am so proud and extremely grateful to all of our parents and carers and the wider community who have been helpful and proactive.
“Within minutes of me posting news of the damage suffered on our school Facebook page, we were inundated with random acts of kindness, this included donations of equipment and volunteering to help with repairs.
“A Go Fund Me page set up by parents has raised almost £600 in less than 12 hours and that amount is rising.”
Anyone who would like to donate to St Giles School’s appeal, can do so by visiting the Go Fund Me page here.
The damaged area of The Hive was tidied up today to allow the children to use it again. The school’s main site in Hampshire Road was unaffected by the incident.
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The school plans to use the money raised from the appeal to buy new equipment for their outdoor space before the Easter holidays.
Mr Lawrence said: “Our Forest School teachers Jakk Capewell and Anna Young will circulate a date fairly soon – once the new equipment has arrived – for our school community to come together to repair the damage and set up new equipment.
“Pupils will be able to enjoy the Forest School once again, within no time.
“One thing for sure is that the St Giles community will not allow a small minority to ruin things for our children.”