St Pauls Adventure Playground fire: Cash raised for rebuild

st pauls adventure playground fire cash raised for rebuild - St Pauls Adventure Playground fire: Cash raised for rebuildImage copyright Temple Fire Station
Image caption Crews from Temple, Southmead, Bedminster and Kingswood fire stations were called to the fire in April

A community playground severely damaged by fire is set to be rebuilt thanks to a £35,000 fundraising campaign.

Large parts of St Pauls Adventure Playground in Bristol were destroyed by the blaze on Easter Saturday.

The campaign was set-up by 16-year-old Stan Jones and received support from Massive Attack star Grantley Evan Marshall and DIY SOS’s Mark Millar.

Avon Fire and Rescue Service concluded that the fire had been started deliberately.

Image copyright Mark Simmons Photography
Image caption Massive Attack star Grantley Evan Marshall, known as Daddy G, (pictured left) was part of the campaign

Families living in the area were left distraught when the popular playground next to St Agnes Church went up in flames on 11 April.

Mr Jones, a volunteer at the playground, led the Crowdfunding campaign which saw more more than 1,000 residents make contributions.

Housing associations United Communities and Solon South West donated £6,800, the John James Foundation gave £5,000 and former city mayor George Ferguson contributed £1,000 to the playground that has served St Pauls since the 1980s.

‘A devastating blow’

Guy Dobson, director of the A.P.E. Project Community Interest Company based at the playground, said the response had been “uplifting”.

“The arson attack really was a devastating blow right across the community because it struck at the very heart of St Pauls, as residents coped with the ups and downs of lockdown.

“We’re truly grateful for the way people and organisations have really stepped up – like Somali families living in one-bedroom homes with next-to-nothing who’ve dug deep to put tenners in.”

United Communities chairman James Taylor said: “People from all walks of life are uniting to invigorate a vital part of the fabric of everyday life in St Pauls and, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to bite, we’re glad to support in the playground project’s hour of need.”

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