City’s Red Sky Foundation gets £500 boost from Wearside funeral director after clothing bank arson attack

A Sunderland charity has been handed a £500 boost after its fundraising efforts were targeted by firebugs.

By Kevin Clark
Monday, 25th July 2022, 4:55 am

The Red Sky Foundation was set up by husband and wife Sergio and Emma Petrucci to raise money for Newcastle’s Children’s Heart Unit, after their daughter Luna underwent life-saving cardiac surgery when she was little more than a baby.

The organisation has since extended its work to promote cardiac health and installing life-saving defibrillators at locations across the region.

Second hand clothing banks are a major part of its fundraising work, but earlier this month, one of its collection points - in the grounds of St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, in Pallion - was attacked and set alight.

Read More

Read More
'Horrendous' thugs who kidnapped man, robbed him and dumped him outside Ramside ...

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

Coverage of the attack in the Echo was seen by city funeral director Carol Finn, who visited the school to hand over a £500 donation to help support the foundation's work.

"We thought it was awful that somebody could do something like that and we just wanted to help,” said Carol.

Teaching Assistant Beth Hudson, Sergio Petrucci of Red Sky Foundation, Carol Finn and head teacher Stephanie Brown. with pupils (from left) Ryan Arun, Reynald Nahum, Olanma Chimezie and Cattleya Apuang.

“We were already aware of the work of the foundation and we knew it was a really good cause.”

Carol now hopes to continue working with the foundation and encourage grieving families to support it.

She added: “We get a lot of families who ask us what charities are available out there for donations and this is one we can put forward in full confidence.”

Sergio was delighted with the donation.

St Joseph's Primary School's Red Sky clothing bank was attacked by vandals.

“This will allow us to carry on with our work and purchase new pads for our defibrillators,” he said.

"I was overwhelmed when Carol got in touch. It just goes to show how generous the people of Sunderland are.”

And he also offered an olive branch to the vandals responsible for the damage.

“I’d love to reach out to these youngsters, who are obviously bored, and work with them.” he said.

"I would love to show them what we do to raise awareness of cardiac health.”

Northumbria Police spokesperson has launched an investigation into the arson attack.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police using the Tell us Something page on the force website quoting reference NP-20220710-0609