Fundraiser launched to replace Bognor Regis school's vandalised canopy

A parent is raising money to replace a damaged sunshade at his daughter’s school, after it was damaged by vandals.

The canopy was damaged last week, after teenagers, supposedly aged between 13 and 14, climbed over the gate to Barton’s Primary School, gained access to the playground and damaged a sunshade in the school ‘Chill Out’ area.

Stuart Edwards, 45, whose nine year old daughter attends the Lethaby Road school, hopes to give something back to the school community with his fundraiser. For him, just like for his daughter, the canopy was a lot more than the sum of its parts.

"It’s such a small school,” he explained. “There’s only one class per year, and, obviously, its right in the middle of the community – we know all the teachers, and they know all of us. So it’s almost like, when something like this happens, you take it personally.

Bartons Primary school. Photo: Google Maps

"The children have been through a lot the past couple of years, and that nice quiet area is in a really nice part of the school, where the kids could take a little bit of time to sit and chill out. It’s more than just a canopy they’ve damaged, it provided more for the school and for the children – and now they can’t use it.”

The vandals caused approximately £1,000 worth of damage to the structure, which now needs to be replaced, but thankfully Mr Edwards’ fundraiser has already mustered £1,080 of its £1,500 goal, even though he only started it on Monday.

"I’m really surprised it’s doing so well,” Mr Edwards said. “It’s nice to see people coming together over this because, when something like this happens on your doorstep, it really hits home.

Writing in a letter sent to parents the day after the vandalism, a spokesperson for Barton's Primary School has asked residents living nearby to ‘stay vigilant’, adding “(the vandals) knew where to go and so we sincerely hope they are not ex-Barton’s children."

Sussex Police are urging anyone with information about the incident to contact them online or via 101, quoting serial number 503 of 18/07.

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