Four-year-old using pedal power to raise cash for her fire-hit Hartlepool school

Poppie-Ann Richardson (4) on her bike.
Poppie-Ann Richardson (4) on her bike.

A determined four-year-old is getting on her bike to raise cash for her Hartlepool school which was severely damaged by a fire.

Little Poppie-Ann Richardson is a pupil at Rift House Primary School which was hit by a devastating fire causing extensive damage to the nursery and Year 3 classroom.

Fire ravaged Rift House Primary School

Fire ravaged Rift House Primary School

Now, the youngster is planning a sponsored bike ride around Ward Jackson Park in a bid to raise money to help bring the nursery back to its former glory.

And to boost the cause she’s even got a signed boxing glove from world heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, which will be auctioned at a later date.

Her mum Katie Richardson said: “Poppie-Ann loves helping others she has done a few bits of fundraising before.

“We wondered what we could do to help, and instead of just donating some money, Poppie-Ann decided she wanted to do a sponsored bike ride.

All the toys and equipment are gone

Katie Richardson

“She still has her stabilisers on, but its still quite a long way for her to pedal all the way around Ward Jackson Park.”

Katie, who is also mum to two-year-old Evie-Ann, said all the children and staff were devastated when they realised how bad the fire was.

She said: “The nursery was totally burned to the ground. At the end of every year the parents are presented with a folder of all the work the nursery children have done over the year and now that is all gone.

“All the toys and equipment are gone, everything. The children were also watching baby caterpillars growing and sadly of course they are gone, which has really upset the children.”

Poppie-Ann Richardson (4) with her mum Katie and David Turner the Headmaster at Rift House Primary School.

Poppie-Ann Richardson (4) with her mum Katie and David Turner the Headmaster at Rift House Primary School.

Katie, who lives in Kipling Road, said Poppie-Ann has already had £500 in pledges from business, family and friends and is hoping to boost the total even more through her fund-raising page.

And the boxing glove was organised through Nathan Greathead of NSG Boxing Promotions.

Anyone who would like to sponsor the youngster for her bike ride on Saturday, May 27, at noon, can visit the fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Poppieannsbikeride and supporters are welcome to go along to Ward Jackson park and cheer her on.

Police are still investigating the blaze which tore through part of the school and have arrested two teenagers on suspicion of arson before they were released.

Fire ravaged Rift House Primary School

Fire ravaged Rift House Primary School

The blaze on Sunday night has destroyed the Year 3 classroom, the nursery and a newly kitted out play area at the Masefield Road school.

Cleveland Police, which is working on a joint investigation with Cleveland Fire Brigade, said inquiries are ongoing in relation to the fire.