Vandals wreck children's 'wonderful world of play' a second time

“THINK about the little ones.”
Hilltoppers Nursery, ThurnscoeHilltoppers Nursery, Thurnscoe
Hilltoppers Nursery, Thurnscoe

That's the message from a school head after the nursery's play area was targeted and trashed by vandals – two weekends in a row.

Devastated staff at Hilltoppers Nursery, based at The Hill Primary Academy, were left picking up the pieces after vandals smashed up the newly created outdoor area over the weekend (November 18-19).

The nursery was forced to close its doors for the day on Monday (November 20) and re-opened the following day after staff undertook a day-long clean-up operation.

Damage at Hilltoppers NurseryDamage at Hilltoppers Nursery
Damage at Hilltoppers Nursery

It followed a similar break-in the previous weekend (November 11-12) which caused an estimated £500 worth of damage and led to disheartened staff setting up a fundraising page.

The figure is likely to raise even higher with the new attack.

The Thurnscoe nursery had also previously been targeted by vandals earlier this year at Easter.

Ann-Marie Mason, executive principal of The Hill Primary Academy, part of the Astrea Academy Trust, said: “We have been working hard to develop our outside area into a wonderful world of play for the children.

“We had already integrated features such as a water wall and a digging area to make outside play as fun and engaging as possible for our children.

“Sadly, the vandals destroyed all of our hard work.

“The new play area and much of our play equipment was smashed up and door panels in the shed were kicked in and broken.”

Last weekend's attack saw nine windows and a door smashed and the shed damaged once again.

“This was the second weekend our nursery has been vandalised – the third time this year,” said Ann-Marie, “and we are all devastated.

“It's just terrible, a real shame and so disheartening – a lot of time and money has been invested.”

Addressing the vandals she said: “Think about the little people who want to use this area – the youngest is eight months, the oldest three years old.

“This could be your little brother or sister – or in time it could be your own children – who are missing out on playing in an environment they are entitled to.”

Encouraging people to support the fundraising campaign, she added: “We know there is a lot of goodwill out there towards our nursery and the valuable role we play in the community.

“We are calling on that goodwill to help us restore our faith in human nature and make the play area safe and exciting for our children again.”