Christmas came early for a Hartlepool family who were the victims of a suspected arson attack after school pupils rallied round to help them.
Becky and Jaifar Trigwell had to flee their home, along with their five-year-old son Ryden, who is registered blind, when a fire tore through it in the early hours of October 5.
It’s a really good school and a lovely community and it means a lot that they did this for us.Becky Trigwell
Becky, 25, had been watching TV at around 3am when she smelled smoke and alerted her husband, 32, to the blaze.
The couple raced from their home, in Troutpool Close, with Ryden but lost everything in the fire, leaving them with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.
But teachers and pupils at Ryden’s school, St Bega’s RC Primary School, in Thorpe Street, Headland, came up with a way to have some fun and raise some cash.
Headteacher Mike Cooney said: “We had been thinking about doing something to help and then one of the parents, Emma Waites, whose son Preston is in Ryden’s class, came to me and asked if she could help raise some money.
“We organised a non-uniform day at the school and all the pupils and teachers got involved with it.
“We raised quite a lot of money and asked Becky what they wanted with the money.
“She said it would be great for Ryden to have a bike because the one he’d got for his birthday just a month before the fire had been destroyed.
“She also said they were big fans of Christmas and usually go all out but that they’d lost all the decorations they’d collected over the years in the fire.
“I told her to look through the Argos catalogue and tell us what she wanted.
“We invited Ryden’s parents to the school on Friday for a special assembly. He ran over to his parents as soon as he saw them and gave them a big hug, then Preston rode in on the bike and handed it over to him.
“His eyes lit up and I’ve never seen him smile as much as he did when he was given the bike. It was wonderful that the school could do something for them.”
Becky, who is Ryden’s full-time carer, said: “Seeing Ryden get the bike was the best bit because he was so happy. He started riding it round the hall and I did get a bit emotional.
“Receiving the tree and all the Christmas decorations was lovely as well. We’ve got them all up and Ryden loved helping us decorate the tree.
“It’s a really good school and a lovely community and it means a lot that they did this for us.”
Cleveland Police confirmed that a 39-year-old woman from the Hartlepool area, was arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life. She has been bailed pending further inquiries.