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Carnival to the rescue

PUBLISHED: 13:31 10 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:20 03 March 2010

CARNIVAL capers at Felixstowe this year will help the resort's vandalised Red Cross Centre get back on its feet again.

CARNIVAL capers at Felixstowe this year will help the resort's vandalised Red Cross Centre get back on its feet again.

The carnival committee has offered to help the popular centre for the disabled and elderly on the seafront with the refurbishment work following the recent attack on the premises.

Volunteer workers were greeted by a scene of devastation a week ago at the centre on the promenade by Bath Hill after vandals broke in and smashed the building up.

Seven reinforced glass windows were broken, and the inside of the single-storey building was left with glass, beer bottles, and dust from a fire extinguisher smothering tables and chairs, and cruets and flowers strewn across the floor.

Light fittings had been torn off the ceiling – and, in a further show of wanton disrespect, a picture of the Queen was also badly damaged.

The attack on the centre, which caters for groups of frail, disabled, or the elderly on trips to the seaside and is used every day from April to October, has left the resort shocked and dismayed.

Richard Stewart, secretary of Felixstowe Carnival Association, said the carnival committee had discussed the incident and agreed it wanted to help as much as it could to repair the damage.

He had spoken to Red Cross officials at the county headquarters in Bury St Edmunds and offered a cash grant to pay for the work.

"Rather than just making a donation after the carnival was over, we thought we could give real practical help now if we offered to help pay for the repairs to be done," he said.

"That way people in the community can see the carnival helping a real local cause – and see some very positive action.

"Everyone on the committee was gutted by this vandalism. The centre is so well used during the summer months and has been an important feature of the seafront for many, many years."

The carnival takes place on August 18 and has the theme Into The Future.

It is run by volunteers and a proportion of the money raised each year is given to local charities and good causes with some kept to kick-start running costs for the following year's event.

n Police investigating the damage caused to the Red Cross Centre would like to speak to anyone who may have information about the attack, which happened overnight June 29-30. Witnesses should call Pc Jackaman on 01473 613500.

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