‘Heartbreak’ as newly donated school bench is damaged

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VANDALS have damaged a wood work project by students for younger children just four days after it was installed.

A group of students from Stowmarket High School designed and crafted a selection of mushroom stools and a bench for children at Wood Ley Community Primary School to use in a woodland area for outside learning and story telling.

The high school students donated the items at a presentation on Friday.

But on Wednesday morning, police were called after it was discovered vandals had ripped the bench from its base and broken it into pieces.

Sara Ward, headteacher at Wood Ley, said: “It’s just people who are vandalising and being a nuisance. They have deliberately ripped it away from the base.

“It’s deliberate to spoil somebody else’s pleasure and I think it’s heartbreaking for those people who have made it and for our children to see it.”

The school has now been forced to keep the mushroom stools inside at night to ensure that they are kept safe.

Mrs Ward confirmed that a teacher from the high school would be mending the bench so children at the primary school can continue to use it.

At the presentation, Jim Bannister, head of design at Stowmarket High School, said: “The year 10 construction students rose to the challenge and started to design and make the seats with great success.

“The seats are based on nature and each one has been individually designed and made to fit into the Wood Ley garden.”

Mrs Ward said on Friday: “These students have really tried and they should take pride in what they have done.

They have thought of other people and how they can put their talents to good use. Our children are very pleased to have them.”

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said: “It’s appalling that these items of student wood work have been damaged by ignorant vandals who had no thought for the hard work and effort that had been undertaken by the students who made them.

“We would strongly urge anyone who can help us identify who carried out this damage to contact us.”

Anyone with any information should contact Sgt Neil Paterson on 01473 613500.