Villagers save the day to help school build its castle play area after thieves swipe wood and concrete

A primary school left heartbroken after thieves raided it of tools, wood and concrete being used to create a new play area has had its faith restored after the community rallied round to save the project.

Monday, 13th July 2020, 12:30 pm

The team at the Ribbon School, in Barnes Road, Murton, were devastated after the kit and materials were stolen on Thursday, July 9.

Work has begun again on construction after Angie Crosbie, whose eight-year-old granddaughter Patience attends the school, gifted her birthday money to replace the items and power tools, then launched a fundraising page to collect more, with the total already topping £800.

On top of that, the school’s leaders have been overwhelmed by a £1,000 donation from Gary Sunter, of Sunter and Morris garage in the village, after word of the theft spread when headteacher Ashleigh Sheridan posted about it on the school's Facebook page.

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The Ribbon Academy Trust donation from gran Angie Crosbie following the theft of materials to build a structure for the children. With granddaughter Patience Crosbie, eight, and the school's site manager John Murray

The castle play area is being built by site manager John Murray with help from Ethan Ord and Joanne Taylor.

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It will join a pirate ship built for younger children in the grounds, with plans to have the new addition ready so that pupils can have a first go on it before the end of the school year.

John said: “We were about 70% of the way through the build when someone got in and took the timber, post-mix and power tools.

Angie Crosbie. with granddaughter Patience Crosbie, eight, decided to donate her birthday and raise extra cash to help the Ribbon School complete its new play area project.

"Mrs Sheridan put something on Facebook explaining what had happened and one of the grandmothers of the children came into school and said she'd paid for the replacement concrete and fence.

"Then she said she had set up a page, which has raised more than £600, which will be used to pay for extras like nets and slides, and then we had a donation of £1,000 from Gary Sunter.

"The community has really come together and a lot of people have made an offer to help, which is fantastic.

"It just restores your faith and now we'll be able to finish it off and add other stuff to it, which we wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Work is almost done on the castle play area by John Murray and his team of helpers thanks to a donation and fundraising efforts by Angie Crosbie, pictured with her granddaughter Patience, eight.

"The children can’t wait to get on it, they're absolutely buzzing about it.”

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact Durham Constabulary on 101.

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