A community centre providing vital support during the pandemic has been forced to throw out much-needed items after teenagers set fire to a nearby bin – causing serious damage.
Heat and smoke from the blaze ruined everything inside a storage unit belonging to the Venchie Children & Young People’s Project in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The awful incident on Friday night has left staff devastated, Edinburgh Live reports, with PPE masks, toys, nappies and long-life food all destroyed.
Manager Susan Heron said: “As far as I’m aware, a group of youths took one of the large bins round to the side of the container and set it alight.
“Although the actual fire was not in the container, the heat damage melted all of the plastic toys that we had cleaned, packed away and stored due to Covid.
What do you think about the fire? Let us know in the comments below.
“Everything else was smoke damaged and then when the fire brigade came everything got covered in water to put out the flames.
“My first reaction was ‘not again’, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. We can’t really have much outdoors because usually it gets set alight.
“When myself and the other staff went up on Friday night we all left with our heads down, it was really disappointing to see.”
Locals have launched a GoFundMe page in the aftermath to try and repurchase supplies – which has already topped £1,000
Annie Watson is one of the residents behind the fundraising page.
She said: “It was so disappointing to hear what had happened to the Venchie, it’s been there for years and has supported so many families in the area.
“We wanted to help them replace what has been damaged so they can get back on track and it’s been amazing, we’ve absolutely smashed our target.
“They have supported so many over the years and we wanted to do something to give back.”
Talking about the overwhelming response from locals, Susan added: “The response from the community has been so fantastic, it has lifted all of the staff’s spirits and made us feel like people really do care about the work we do.
“It made us feel like you know what we will be back in on Monday morning doing the work we do and sending food parcels out to houses because we’ll keep going.
“We have also been given a donation from Morrisons to keep us going food-wise for the next week.”
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