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Vandals lay seige to toddler group

HEARTBROKEN mothers fear their toddlers group is being 'targeted' by thugs following the latest vandal attack on their premises.

HEARTBROKEN mothers fear their toddlers group is being 'targeted' by thugs following the latest vandal attack on their premises.

Members of Kelsall Baby and Toddler Group feel they are under siege from the yobs, who have repeatedly damaged their storage shed in the village.

In the latest attack, thugs kicked in a roof panel. Shortly afterwards it rained, leaving soft toys and play equipment damaged, some beyond repair.

Now Kelsall Parish Council has come to the group's rescue, offering them £250 to repair the damage and replace some of the toys.

Maria Wood, joint chairman of the group, thanked the councillors for their generosity. She said the damage was caused last Tuesday night.

'Someone had gone there and jumped on the roof, kicking the panel in.

'It's disgusting, because this isn't the first time it has happened. We have had the doors kicked in before now,' she added.

Mrs Wood, who runs the group with Sam Schofield, said it rained that night and all of their equipment ended up soaked.

'We went there on Wednesday morning and saw the damage. Me and Sam were very upset and we just cried.

'Our group is being targeted by these vandals. We don't know why. We are just doing something good for the children of this village,' she added.

The group have been allowed to store all the plastic, durable things like toy tractors and chairs temporarily in the community centre next door.

Mrs Wood, who has a two-year-old daughter called Ellie, said: 'We had things like plastic tunnels for the children to crawl through and, because of the wet, they are now covered in mould; ruined.

'I can't understand why vandals would do this to us. They could have been part of this group when younger and, if they have children in the future, they might want them to join the group. So why attack us?'

Parish council clerk Natalie Read said the metal shed had been installed two years ago and had been vandalised 'almost straight away'.

'The group originally had a wooden shed but this was destroyed by the vandals, which is why they got a metal one.

'It's a crying shame. Only the week before, the roof was kicked in, the group found dents in the front door where it had been repeatedly kicked.

'The shed was crammed with their soft toys and chairs and bikes. But the rain got in and all their equipment got soaked.

'This attack has left the group absolutely devastated. It's not fair!' added Mrs Read.

* Kelsall Baby & Toddler Group meets every Wednesday in the Kelsall Community Centre, Chester Road, from 10-11.30am. Each session costs £1.50.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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