Angry youngsters blast arsonists

ANGRY children at an Ipswich school have written to the Evening Star today, condemning vandals who torched a shed full of jumble sale items.

By MEYREM HUSSEIN,

meyrem.hussein@eveningstar.co.uk>

ANGRY children at an Ipswich school have written to the Evening Star today, condemning vandals who torched a shed full of jumble sale items.

The youngsters from the Thomas Wolsey School are particularly upset because the items in the shed were to be sold to raise money for special playground equipment.

But to soften the blow, since the blaze was first reported in the Star last week, anonymous donors have come forward with about £1,500.

The fire ravaged a shed packed with jumble sale goods at the n Old Norwich Road school in Ipswich which caters for disabled youngsters. A refuse store and bin were also burned. It is estimated that the blaze caused more than £1,000 of damage.

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The school, which caters for 93 children with complex physical disabilities, had only recently replaced the shed and bin store after a fire in the autumn.

In their letter, the group of year ten and 11 students said: “It feels really unfair because for some of us, this would be the only play equipment that we could use. We can't use the equipment you find in most playgrounds.”

Headteacher Nancy McArdle said: “The children are still very angry about the fact that somebody could destroy our shed.

“Some of the language that they wanted to use was not printable - we had to temper it a bit. They are really cross. They thought it was so insensitive.

“But they think it's wonderful that people can also be so kind. I am so overwhelmed that people have been so nice.”

The school, which already has a wheelchair roundabout, is currently aiming for a wheelchair swing, which costs £5,000 to £6,000.

Suffolk police is treating the fire, which broke out at around 1.15am on Monday, as arson.

Anyone with information should Pc Ian Rowland, community police officer for Whitton, on 01473 613500.

What do you think of the people who did this? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Dear Meyrem,

We have had enough of our shed being burnt down. It makes up very sad, fed up and angry. We had only just replaced the shed burnt down in October when this new one was burnt down in the early hours of Monday morning.

All the jumble stored in the shed had been very kindly donated by people from the community who want to support our school. Now it has been destroyed in the fire.

This jumble was due to be sold to raise money for special swings and other playground equipment for wheelchair users at our school.

We will now have to wait even longer to be able to enjoy this equipment.

It feels really unfair because for some of us this would be the only play equipment that we could use. We can't use the equipment you find in most public playgrounds.

We can't understand why anyone would be so nasty and stop our fun.

We hope this never happens again.

We are pleased to say we have many friends and supporters, whom we are very grateful for. Yesterday a lady from a local charity shop phoned us after reading about the fire and gave us a very generous donation.

Yours sincerely,

Years 10 and 11,

Thomas Wolsey School.

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