Community rallies around vandalised school

By Ginny Ware   |   Totnes Reporter   |
Wednesday 13th July 2022 10:00 am
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Glynn O'Conell with Alexis Freddie and Mila ( )

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Harbertonford Primary has thanked parents and the local community for their “overwhelming” support following a break-in to the school grounds by vandals.

Pupils were devastated to discover on the morning of Monday May 9 that resources in the pre-school outdoor area had been destroyed beyond repair, including the free-standing art easels.

Elsewhere in the playground one of the walls had been covered in graffiti and the apple tree, donated by the 2020 Year 6 leavers, had been stripped of all its branches.

But thanks to help from parents, all of the damage has now been repaired or replaced, said headteacher Anne Burns.

After posting the vandalism on its social media pages, the school was inundated by offers of support from people pledging to replace the fruit tree or repaint the wall.

Parents Glynn O’Connell donated paint and roller, while villagers Guy and Ali Metcalfe gave up a morning to put them to good use.

Meanwhile mu, Lucy Mannion, set up a Go Fund Me page to help replace the damaged resources – which raised £400.

Guy and Ali Metcalfe ( )

Ms Burns, said: “Thankfully this was a unique incident, but it did not detract from the sadness and disappointment we all felt on that Monday morning.

“However, the response from our school and local community was so positive and overwhelming that it brought home to us all how lucky we are to be part of such a proactive and caring community.

“This is not the only time they have extended a helping hand, with many turning out termly for the Green Team Saturdays organised by our PTFA (Parents, Teachers, Friends Association) to improve our grounds and the Harbertonford Open Gardens making a generous donation to the school gardening project this summer.

“Thankfully, with some love and attention, the apple tree has also made a recovery and appears to be thriving again.”

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