The team at eco-friendly community organisation Williby Roc’s were left devastated in September after discovering vandals had struck at their community garden at Bilton Hall, Jarrow.
The vandals broke fences, smashed bird hides, and destroyed homemade structures created by children in youth groups.
But the heartbreaking incident led to a heartwarming show of support, with people the community quick to rally round.
Avis Scott, 46, from South Shields, who attends Williby Roc’s sessions with her son, set up a JustGiving page aiming to raise £250 to help – and was gobsmacked at raising several times the amount she hoped for.
The fundraising drive saw £1,650 donated in a matter of days to help the team at Williby Roc’s to repair the damage – and then some.
Just weeks later, the garden is bouncing back. The damaged structures have been rebuilt, and new areas have been added to the garden, thanks to the money raised by kindhearted people in the community.
Danielle Pollard, director at Williby Roc’s, said: “Since the break in we have had so many offers for support, donations and help with rebuilding the garden back to what it was like so that we can continue to deliver our much loved outdoor sessions which are needed more than ever in today’s climate.
“We have been totally overwhelmed by the generosity from the folk of South Tyneside and are so thankful to each and every one who has supported us through this difficult time. All of our structures that were damaged have now been rebuilt with new areas added to the overall experience.”
Danielle said after being inundated with offers of support after the vandalism attack, Williby Roc’s has been able to continue running its playgroup and adult mental health programmes.
The team is also planning educational children’s activity sessions throughout the October school half term.
Williby Roc’s sessions focus on helping adults and children realise their potential for creativity and resourcefulness by using eco-friendly reclaimed materials as well as mending various household items.