Half-term van­dals ‘de­stroy’ school’s out­door play area

Pupils are left in tears at ‘heart­break­ing’ scenes Po­lice say chil­dren as young as 10 were seen flee­ing the area as they launch ap­peal for in­for­ma­tion

Cynon Valley - - FRONT PAGE - TOM HOUGHTON tom.houghton@waleson­line.co.uk

TEACH­ERS and pupils re­turned to their school on Mon­day to find the nurs­ery’s play area had been “de­stroyed” over the halfterm break.

Chil­dren, staff and par­ents of Blaeng wawr Pri­mary School in Abera­man were “cry­ing and an­gry” to see the out­door equip­ment bro­ken and dam­aged, and the act has been de­scribed as “heart­break­ing”.

South Wales Po­lice say of­fi­cers on Mon­day saw two peo­ple be­lieved to be around 10 years old “run­ning away” from the scene, and have now launched an ap­peal for in­for­ma­tion.

A crowd-fund­ing page was im­me­di­ately set up to raise money to help the Cynon Val­ley School in re­plac­ing the equip­ment, and has al­ready beaten its fundrais­ing tar­get of £500.

Imo­gen Baker, head­teacher at the school, said: “We are all dev­as­tated and shocked by the need­less van­dal­ism which oc­curred in our out­door nurs­ery class­room be­tween the hours of 3pm and 4pm on Sun­day.

“My staff and I have been over­whelmed by the sup­port from the lo­cal and wider com­mu­nity. Mes­sages of good­will have been com­ing in from near and far and we feel hum­bled by the re­sponse.

“We are re­as­sured that the com­mu­nity spirit is alive and kick­ing within this close-knit com­mu­nity and are grate­ful to those peo­ple who have taken it upon them­selves to en­sure our out­door nurs­ery pro­vi­sion will be back up and run­ning very soon.

“We wish to ex­tend our sin­cere grat­i­tude to all those who are mak­ing this pos­si­ble.”

A par­ent said: “Most of the toys and equip­ment were brand new and only bought in the sum­mer with money the chil­dren and PTA had raised through the year.

“I my­self am a par­ent of chil­dren in the in­fant and ju­niors of the school, I also at­tended the school when I was a child. It’s heart­break­ing that peo­ple can do this.

“Chil­dren, staff and par­ents were cry­ing and an­gry that peo­ple would do this to chil­dren’s toys.”

The Just­giv­ing page, which was set up by Ceri Cartwright, reads: “Van­dals broke into the school and de­stroyed the lovely out­door play area for the nurs­ery chil­dren.

“We are a small school and funds are not widely avail­able for us to re­place these items.

“The chil­dren, par­ents and staff are dev­as­tated. We are hop­ing to raise money to re­place items and clean up this area so the chil­dren have a safe, and happy learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment again.”

A South Wales Po­lice spokes­woman said: “Of­fi­cers were called to the school and saw two young peo­ple run­ning away.

“We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing and have some pos­i­tive lines of en­quiry.

“The youths were de­scribed as boys, aged be­tween 10 or 12 years, one was wear­ing a dark hooded top and the other had a grey and black hooded top (top half grey, bot­tom half black) and Adi­das trousers.

“Any­one with in­for­ma­tion should call 101 or Crimestop­pers on 0800 555 111 quot­ing ref no: 1700430676.”

To help, visit: www.just giv­ing.com/crowd­fund­ing/ ceri-cartwright

The ru­ined nurs­ery play area at Blaeng­wawr Pri­mary School in Abera­man

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