VANDALS WRECK KIDS' PLAY AREA
Children and staff Sophie Goddard, Vicky Orange and Nicola Jacklin beside damaged numbers and chalk boards either side of the outdoor play area.
Vandals trashed new equipment in a pre-school’s outdoor play area within a week-and-a-half of it being installed.
The senseless attack brought the manager, Vicky Orange, to tears after she and partner Alan Burton had spent a weekend brightening up the spot at St Mary’s Church Hall in Rose Lane, Pinchbeck.
But now Spalding firm GTS Security has stepped in with a massive goodwill gesture by donating and installing a £900, four-camera CCTV system – including recording equipment – to stop future attacks on the Stepping Stones Pre-School.
Stepping Stones has seen the best and the worst of human nature in the space of a few weeks.
First it was £500 donated from councillor Elizabeth Sneath’s ward budget that made the outdoor makeover possible – and then came the attack which saw chalks boards ripped off the fence, and obscene words scrawled on them, and mirrors also ripped off the fence and smashed. Vicky said: “I felt upset and angry. It brought me to tears to be honest. “It’s awful, really, we had only just literally done the work.” Parent Amy Brocklesby’s partner John Cooper is an engineer with GTS Security and their son, John Junior Cooper (4), attends the pre-school.
When her partner’s boss, Seb Grimston, heard about the vandalism, he instantly offered the pre-school a state-of-the-art CCTV system for free. Amy said the staff at Stepping Stones haven’t told the children about the vandalism. She said: “We don’t know how they would react if they knew people were actually breaking things. JJ (John Junior) has donated some of his toys to the pre-school – he knows that we actually give to the pre-school. Vicky estimates equipment worth a little over £100 from the original donation has been lost.
She’s over the moon that GTS is making them more secure to deter future attacks.
Vicky said: “I want to say a huge, huge thank you. I can’t thank them enough. I really am grateful.
“It’s more than I ever imagined would happen.” Seb Grimston stepped in because he was shocked that a pre-school was targeted in that way – and he knew Stepping Stones wouldn’t have the cash to buy a CCTV system to prevent it from happening again. He said: “It was something you would never have expected to have happened at that kind of place."
“We want to send out the message that ‘you are not going to get away with it again’.”
Amy said the GTS donation shows that “community spirit is still very much alive”.