Community raises £2k after vandals target scouts hut on the Isle of Dogs
PUBLISHED: 10:32 17 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:34 17 May 2017
Volunteers have rallied to help rescue the East London scouts group after vandals ransacked their hut next to a community centre on the Isle of Dogs.
They raised more than £2,000 in two just days to replace the wrecked equipment in a crowdfunding appeal and helped to transport the equipment to secure storage.
Members of the 2nd East London scouts arrived on Friday evening to find their shed broken into and their games and activities equipment vandalised. Camping equipment was pulled out, ripped open and left out in the rain.
Even a model defibrillator used for training in life-saving and other first aid equipment was wrecked.
“It was sad walking into the yard and seeing all the games smashed,” group scout leader Kay Leggett told the East London Advertiser.
“The place was trashed—but worse was the CPR device used for training youngsters in saving lives was ripped off. It was chaos.”
The wreckers busted into the hut next to the Cubitt Town community centre off Manchester Road, throwing equipment across the yard including storm shelters used on camping trips.
But the community has rallied. Parents turned up in vans on Tuesday evening and loaded the equipment to be taken to safer temporary storage two miles away in Poplar.
“We had £1,600 donated in 24 hours,” Kay added. “Then an anonymous wellwisher added another £1,000.
“We don’t know why we were targeted—we think it’s a bunch of youths who’ve been spotted in the past.
“These are the young people we try to help, but this makes it difficult.”
The crowdfundraising was set up by community activist Jodey Brown who started the appeal on Saturday as soon as word got round this tight-knit community about the break in. Police were at the scene over the weekend.
The scout group is now looking for a metal container or permanent lock-up for secure storage.
Meanwhile, scouting continues with a camping trip planned this week. The 2nd East London group, celebrating its 10th anniversary later this year, has 110 youngsters aged six to 18 and is the largest youth provider on the Isle of Dogs.
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