Youngsters at a South Tyneside nursery who were the victims of a vandal attack have had their play equipment restored thanks to a community group.
Parents with children as young as three at Monkton Nursery School were incensed after hearing how yobs not only damaged toys beyond repair but also urinated in the nursery’s sandpit.
Despite a clean-up by staff, youngsters arriving at the nursery to start their new term were unable to play outside until the area had been specially cleaned.
But, even when they were allowed outside they had nothing to play with. The cost of the damage was estimated to have been around £1,000.
A call for help to South Tyneside based Community Corner - which sells donated items to raise funds for good causes - stepping in to replace the toys that had been broken.
Clare Askwith, headteacher at the nursery in Bainbridge Avenue, Simonside, South Shields, said: “We can’t thank Community Corner and Cheryl enough for their help.
The parents were all shocked and incensed by what had been done.Cheryl McDonald
“We had to replace the items but like all schools we are on a tight budget and had no idea how we were going to be able to afford it.
“I received an email from Cheryl saying Community Corner would help pay for the equipment after she had been contacted by parents to tell her what had happened.
“It was a lovely gesture by the parents. It shows just how much they love the nursery. We are so grateful Community Corner did this.”
During the break-in vandals smashed toys from the fence, ripped the heads from dolls, pulled wheels of prams and urinated and defecated in the sandpit.
Mrs Askwith added: “We have all been left upset by this. Nothing like this has ever happened to us before.
“The staff have been brilliant and reassured the children
“But it really wasn’t as simple as just having a quick clean-up. It wasn’t pleasant at all.
“It was a horrible thing to have happened but it was lovely to see community spirit in action and the children now having toys to play with.”
A card was made for Community Corner by the youngsters thanking them for their help.
Cheryl McDonald started Community Corner with her mum Lynne Davis. They have a shop based in Edinburgh Road, Jarrow where they sell donated goods, items are also sold online. Monies raised is then donated to good causes across South Tyneside.
Miss McDonald said: “We had lots of parents message us and email us telling us what had happened.
“They were all shocked and incensed by what had been done and they just couldn’t understand how anyone could do that to children’s toys.
“When they asked if we could help, there was no question about it. It was just so nice to be able to help them to buy new toys for the children and we received a lovely handmade card to say thank you which was really nice.”
Community Corner relies on donations. Anyone who would like to make a donation of goods can do so by calling into the shop on Edinburgh Road Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9am - 5pm, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07507622698.
l No arrests in relation to the vandalism has been made by police.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191. Callers are asked to quote log number 604 of 03/09/15