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‘A bad person did this but good people have brought us all of these toys’ - Nursery amazed by community response after arson attack

PUBLISHED: 16:27 08 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:28 08 January 2018

Little Angels Pre-School manager Rita Bridges, pictured after the fire. Picture: Ian Burt

Little Angels Pre-School manager Rita Bridges, pictured after the fire. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

A nursery that lost thousands of pounds worth of toys and equipment in an arson attack has been left stunned by the amount of support they have received.

Donations of toys and play equipment has flooded into the Little Angels Pre-School in Fakenham and parents have even got together to raise money online through the website GoFundMe.

Deputy manager, Helen Bell, called the response “amazing” and “heart-warming”.

“We’ve had so much and people have been so desperate to bring us things that we had to set up a Facebook page for the nursery, which we didn’t have before.

“Some of the parents set up the JustGiving page independently and I think it has already raised around £800. We are also getting offers from businesses in Fakenham and children who used to come here but are now at school – it’s been really heart-warming.

“We even had people with no connection to the nursery driving from places like Norwich and Hunstanton to donate things to us.”

The nursery lost the play equipment when an arsonist set fire to a metal storage container at the back of the nursery on Friday.

The blaze destroyed toys that had been put in storage over the Christmas period and the heat was so intense that three climbing frames near to the container completely melted.

Staff had questioned what they would do when the children returned on Monday but Miss Bell said that the generosity from the community made it “almost like Christmas again”.

She said: “The children saw all the donations and we were able to show them that a bad person caused this but good people have brought us all of these new toys.”

The nursery is still welcoming donations and is asking people to focus on smaller things such as under the sea and jungle-themed toys, magnetic letters for spelling, magnifying glasses and kites.

If anyone wishes to drop anything at the nursery on Trap Lane then they are can visit between Monday and Thursday, from 8.30am until 3.30pm.

The container fire was the second of three arson attacks in the space of a week. The third occurred at Fakenham Rugby Club on Saturday morning and a 24-year-old man was later arrested.

On Monday, a police spokesperson said the man has been released but remains under investigation.

The first incident was at the offices of Fakenham Connect, which reopened ahead of schedule on Friday.

MORE: Man arrested for three arson attacks this week

MORE: Arson attack destroys nursery’s play equipment

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