School comes together to support Hartlepool family hit by suspected arson attack

Class-mates enjoy the Halloween-themed event at St Bega's RC Primary School, in Hartlepool.
Class-mates enjoy the Halloween-themed event at St Bega's RC Primary School, in Hartlepool.

A school came together as it got behind a pupil whose family were the targets of a suspected arson attack in Hartlepool.

St Bega’s RC Primary School, based in Thorpe Street, held a Halloween-themed fun day as it raised money for the Trigwell family.

Becky and Jaifar Trigwell in the living room of in their fire damaged home in Troutpool Close.

Becky and Jaifar Trigwell in the living room of in their fire damaged home in Troutpool Close.

Becky and Jaifar Trigwell were left devastated when most of their possessions were destroyed in the Troutpool Close home they live in with son Ryden, five, earlier this month.

Ryden is a reception pupil at St Bega’s, and after hearing of the fire, Emma Waites – who is a student teaching assistant at the school and also has a son, Preston, in Ryden’s class – decided to organise a fundraiser.

It raised more than £300 for Ryden’s family, with families donating to the cause, while there were sweet and cake sales, and the children and staff wore scary costumes as they got into the Halloween spirit.

Miss Waites said: “I approached the headmaster, Mike Cooney, with the idea of a fundraiser for Ryden’s family.

It just goes to show that we’re not just a school; we’re a community

Emma Waites

“I’m of the understanding that the family lost a lot of their personal items in the fire, including all of the pet accessories and Ryden’s bike.

“The support from the school and the parents was absolutely amazing.

“It just goes to show that we’re not just a school; we’re a community.

“With us being such a small school and so close-knit, I thought it was a good idea, and it couldn’t have gone any better.

Five-year-old Ryden Trigwell with event organiser Emma Waites.

Five-year-old Ryden Trigwell with event organiser Emma Waites.

“The children had an amazing time and all brought in money to make a donation.”

Headteacher Mr Cooney added: “With Emma’s enthusiasm, the fun day was quickly organised. It went brilliantly well, and the parents supported it very well.

“It was fantastic to see how many sweets and cakes they brought in to sell.

“The number of scary costumes worn by children and staff was a great sight to see, and everyone had a great day.”

Holly Coulter, 9, front, and class-mates enjoy the Halloween-themed event at St Bega's RC Primary School, in Hartlepool.

Holly Coulter, 9, front, and class-mates enjoy the Halloween-themed event at St Bega's RC Primary School, in Hartlepool.

Ryden’s teacher Nichola Stevens said: “The children had a wonderful Halloween-themed day.

“The generosity and support of the parents was fantastic.”

Summer Sowerby, 4, with a cake she helped make to help raise money, during the event at St Bega's RC Primary School, in Hartlepool.

Summer Sowerby, 4, with a cake she helped make to help raise money, during the event at St Bega's RC Primary School, in Hartlepool.

Class-mates Zac Lines, 5, Oliver Smiles, 4, and Freddie Robertson, 5, enjoy the Halloween-themed event at St Bega's RC Primary School, in Hartlepool.

Class-mates Zac Lines, 5, Oliver Smiles, 4, and Freddie Robertson, 5, enjoy the Halloween-themed event at St Bega's RC Primary School, in Hartlepool.

Staff member Nicola Kenny and pupils Beth Carol, 6, Willow Stockton, 6, Olivia Jefferies, 7, and Isobel Day, 6, enjoy the Halloween-themed event at St Bega's RC Primary School, in Hartlepool.

Staff member Nicola Kenny and pupils Beth Carol, 6, Willow Stockton, 6, Olivia Jefferies, 7, and Isobel Day, 6, enjoy the Halloween-themed event at St Bega's RC Primary School, in Hartlepool.

Five-year-old Ryden Trigwell with event organiser Emma Waites.

Five-year-old Ryden Trigwell with event organiser Emma Waites.