Youngsters 'devastated' after vandals target school's Red Sky Foundation clothing bank

Arsonists have targeted a Wearside charity which helps to save lives across the North East.

By Kevin Clark
Tuesday, 12th July 2022, 10:48 am

Sergio and Emma Petrucci set up the Red Sky Foundation after their little girl Luna underwent life-saving heart surgery when she was little more than a baby.

The organisation promotes cardiac health and has paid to install life-saving defibrillators at locations across the region.

Now one of its fundraising clothing collection points has been set alight by vandals.

The bank, in the grounds of St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, in Pallion, was attacked in the early hours of Friday, July 8.

The school installed defibrillators in memory of former staff member Christine Graham, who sadly passed away following a cardiac-related medical emergency and has supported the Foundation since.

Headteacher Stephanie Brown vowed the arson attack would not impact the school’s support for the charity.

“We were devastated that certain individuals carried out such a criminal offence,” she said.

Front Grace Pinkerton, 5 and Jake Laws, 5. Back Cole Foster, 10 and Riya Ruby, 11 with teaching assistant Sophie Everett and headteacher Stephanie Brown

"These bins help to raise vital funds to help people receive medical care and now we simply are lost for words.

"We certainly won’t let this affect our support for Red Sky Foundation and we will continue to help them make a positive impact in our community.”

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Sergio Petrucci said clothing bins were a vital part of the charity’s fundraising efforts.

Damage to the Red Sky clothing bank

“Our clothing recycling bins help to fund replacement defibrillator pads after they’ve been used to help to save lives - so we can replace them for the next medical emergency,” he said.

"I’m extremely disappointed that someone has done this – we have over 50 units across the region and this is the first time this has happened.

"They do help us save lives and I hope that this won’t ever happen again.”

A Northumbria Police spokesperson confirmed an investigation was under way.

According to the force: "Police were made aware a charity clothing bin in Rutland Street, Sunderland, had been set alight.

"It is believed that at some point between 1am and 7am, an unknown offender has approached the bin and set the contents alight before making off from the scene.

"The incident is being treated as arson and anyone with information is asked to contact police using the Tell us Something page on our website quoting reference NP-20220710-0609.”