Fundraising campaign aims to replace torched outdoor classroom in Redbourn

PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 August 2017

St Luke's Special School assistant head Carol Morris and learning support assistant James Tulley with year 6, 7 and 8 pupils Lewis, Paul, Alexander and Alfie in front of the burnt down outside classroom. Picture: Danny Loo

St Luke's Special School assistant head Carol Morris and learning support assistant James Tulley with year 6, 7 and 8 pupils Lewis, Paul, Alexander and Alfie in front of the burnt down outside classroom. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

The National Citizen Service is raising money for a school for disabled children after its outdoor classroom was burned down.

The burnt down outside classroom at St Luke's Special School. Picture: Danny Loo The burnt down outside classroom at St Luke's Special School. Picture: Danny Loo

The National Citizen Service is organising a fair to raise money for a school for disabled children after its outdoor classroom was burned down.

St Luke’s School in Redbourn, which is for pupils with learning difficulties, had its classrooms destroyed in an arson attack on Thursday, June 29. Two donkeys, which were held in nearby stables, escaped and were found later by police.

The National Citizen Service (NCS) now wants to help the school raise money to rebuild the classroom and pay to get the donkeys, who are named Edward and Isaac, back from the police.

Hana Walker, from NCS, said the pupils benefit from having donkeys at the school. She said: “It’s a great way for them to develop vocational skills and life skills while working with the donkeys so for them to lose that is really sad.

The burnt down outside classroom at St Luke's Special School. Picture: Danny Loo The burnt down outside classroom at St Luke's Special School. Picture: Danny Loo

“I think we all felt very upset about it because we can’t really imagine someone doing something as horrific as that. You can’t imagine a human being who could be so cruel and thoughtless.

“We were inspired to help the situation and to not only get the classroom back but to make them even better than before.”

According to the school’s fundraising page, the raised classroom was purpose-built to be wheelchair accessible, and offered pupils views over the animal enclosures and meadows. As well as rebuilding the classroom, the money will also be used to buy new metal fencing and replace the animals’ food and grooming equipment.

The animal-themed fair will be held from 11am to 4pm on Thursday, August 3, at Fleetville Community Centre in Royal Road.

There will be a bouncy castle, a tombola, a cake sale, balloons and possibly a petting area. Visitors are welcome to bring their pets.

Carol Morris, assistant headteacher at St Luke’s, said the combined cost of building a new classroom and reclaiming the donkeys is £37,000. She told the Herts Ad that the fire must have been arson, as the classroom had not had electricity installed yet, and the intruders must have broken in by removing panels from the security fence. They then released the donkeys before setting the classroom alight.

To donate to the NCS page go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ncs-team4-1, or to donate directly to the school go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/stlukesredbourn

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I had been wondering if she would be there. I had encountered what looked like the remains of her feasting along the path. The telltale circle of piled feathers that indicated a pigeon devoured, plucked breast up, the carcass taken for final pickings by its captor.

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