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
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