Wakefield: Kids' play area funds stolen

Burglars raided a Wakefield school and stole cash children had raised to pay for a new playground.

Youngsters at Netherton J&I School were delighted that proud parents donated hundreds of pounds towards their fundraising bid.

The money, stolen from a safe, was going to go towards the school's efforts to raise 8,000 for a new soft play surface and equipment.

Now the school has issued a plea for help to local businesses and the community to help them get the fundraising back on track.

And they have vowed that the burglars, who also caused damage and stole other items when they broke in after a Christmas concert, will not stop their efforts to see the new playground become a reality.

Headteacher Wendy Mason said: "It was very, very sad. It seems so mean and callous to take money that was generously donated to help the children.

"They were very shocked that burglars had come into the school and some were quite frightened."

The thieves also stole a laptop, smashed windows, damaged doors and ripped an alarm from a wall.

Mrs Mason added: "It just seems a coincidence to us that the school was burgled when it was well-known that we were trying to raise this money."

And John Newsome, chairman of governors, said: "It was quite a shock for everybody. When people have given money to help the appeal to lose 300 is very sad."

The burglars broke into the school, on Netherton Lane, on the evening of Thursday, December 7.

Police have appealed for anyone with information to contact the NPT, on 01924 293256, email wakefield.rural@westyork shire.pnn. police.uk.

Witnesses can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

To help the school with their playground appeal contact Mrs Mason on 01924 302885