Bereaved mum launches fundraising campaign for fire-hit Hartlepool school

Rift House Primary School nursery after the fire.
Rift House Primary School nursery after the fire.

A bereaved mum has launched a fundraising drive for the fire-hit Hartlepool school where her daughter attended.

Julie Bell, says Rift House Primary School was a massive support when her daughter Becky was diagnosed with cancer and tragically died in January 2012.

Becky Bell pictured with mum Julie.

Becky Bell pictured with mum Julie.

Now, after the Hartlepool school was engulfed by flames, she wants to return the favour.

Fire tore through a nursery area and the Year 3 classroom at Rift House Primary School in Masefield Road at around 6pm on Sunday night.

Police have arrested two boys, aged 14 and 13, on suspicion of arson and they have been released.

The school was closed to all but Year 6 pupils on Monday and Tuesday for their SATs tests, but has now re-opened to all children.

Now, it’s our turn to help them

Julie Bell

However, scores of valuable teaching resources have been lost in the blaze.

Thankfully, a memorial corner to Becky in the school hall, has not been damaged.

It comes as Hartlepool resident Jay Petch took pictures from a drone in the sky above the school which show the devastating scale of the damage to the Masefield Road school.

Julie has set up a funding page to raise £1,000 and it is already on track to reach its target.

Julie Bell, who lost her daughter Becky to cancer.

Julie Bell, who lost her daughter Becky to cancer.

Since Becky died her family have raised huge sums of money to support children with cancer and Julie says Rift House Primary School has always been very supportive of the charity.

And now she says it is the primary school that needs help.

She said: “The nursery and Year 3 classroom caught fire and unfortunately nothing could be saved. All the children’s work was sadly destroyed along with toys, books, tables, chairs, stationery along with lots of other things.

“When Becky was diagnosed in July 2011 the school couldn’t do enough for us, the teachers, pupils and parents were brilliant, sadly Becky passed away in January 2012 but again the school was there for us and still are, anything we need they are there to help. Now it’s our turn to help them.”

Becky Bell.

Becky Bell.

She said they would really appreciate any donation people can give no matter how big or small and the cash will be used to help buy new toys for the nursery and new books and stationary for Year 3.

Julie said: “Obviously we are pleased the fire didn’t get into the main school and didn’t damage Becky’s memorial. But, it is heartbreaking to see what has happened.”

Headteacher David Turner said the cost of the damage is still being assessed, but without the actions of the emergency services, it could have been even worse.

As well as the damaged classrooms, an outdoor area for the younger children in the school has also been destroyed.

Anyone wanting to give towards the fund can log onto: https://www.gofundme.com/rift-house-school.