Plans to improve school’s play area moves up a gear thanks to taxi firm donation

Rossmere Primary School's deputy headteacher Debbie Anderson with school council pupils Caitlin Woodward, Ella Cooper and headteacher Lynne Pawley.
Second row, pupils Jenson Bramley, Sophie Cuncliffe, Harley Tiplady and Max Sanderson.
Front are Sarah Copeland and Dylan Osborne.
Rossmere Primary School's deputy headteacher Debbie Anderson with school council pupils Caitlin Woodward, Ella Cooper and headteacher Lynne Pawley. Second row, pupils Jenson Bramley, Sophie Cuncliffe, Harley Tiplady and Max Sanderson. Front are Sarah Copeland and Dylan Osborne.
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A school has been given 23 reasons to cheer after a taxi firm pledged cash to help cover the cost of repairs caused when would-be-thieves left a trail of destruction.

Rossmere Primary School’s pupils and staff were left saddened and disappointed after a break in at the Catcote Road site saw a bench torn apart and a hole in smashed into a wall of its building.

Rossmere Primary School.

Rossmere Primary School.

The vandals had also broken off padlocks to get into the grounds.

A play area which had only been open three days had to be closed off after the damage was caused between last Tuesday and the Wednesday morning.

A police investigation has been launched in an effort to track down who carried out the attempted burglary.

Now the school’s governors, staff and children have been delighted by the news that Twenty3 Taxis has offered to donate £500, which will cover the cost of repairing the bench and wall.

Our school will use this money wisely and fix the broken equipment and then the playground will be safe for us once again.

Caitlin Woodward, 10

It means an order of new play equipment, which had been lined up to boost the school’s new Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) project, can be submitted again after it was cancelled as the school’s leaders looked to cover the cost of the vandalism from its buget.

Headteacher Lynne Pawley said: “It is fantastic to know there are generous people in Hartlepool who are prepared to help and support Rossmere School children after the vandalisation of the school.”

Caitlin Woodward, 10, who is chairman of the school’s council added: “I would like to thank Twenty3 Taxis for their generous donation.

“It is good to think that a taxi service has been kind enough to donate £500 to our school.
“Our school will use this money wisely and fix the broken equipment and then the playground will be safe for us once again.”

Ella Cooper, also 10, is vice chairman of the council.

She said: “Thank you so much for donating £500 to our school it is greatly appreciated.”

The damage was discovered at the school at 8.15am last Wednesday as the caretaker opened up the grounds ready for the school day to begin.

It is the fifth time it has been targeted in five years, with the latest attack happening just days after children were given access to the new play area set up to inspire their learning.

Before the taxi firm stepped in, governors said there were “very shocked” by what had happened, while the school’s leaders said they were “upset and disappointed” especially as it would be the children who would lose out as a result of what happened.

It is thought tools were used to chip away at the wall before the plinth of wood from the bench’s seat was used to prise away bricks.

The school says only a minimal amount of cash is kept on site, with its safe mainly used to store exam papers and documents.

Anyone who can help the Cleveland Police inquiry into the break-in can call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.