Joy for youngsters as new play equipment is unveiled after arson attack

AFTER three years of having to look at the charred and twisted remains of burnt-out equipment, youngsters at Waterloo School finally have a playground to be proud of.

Thursday, 28th April 2016, 6:06 am
The Mayor of Havant Cllr. Leah Turner with Year 6 pupil Bailey Gee (10), and the Headteacher of The Waterloo School Kirsty Roman cutting the 'opening ribbon' ! The super new playground replaces one that was subject previously of an arson attack Picture by: Malcolm Wells (160318-0774)

The pupils were devastated when their play equipment, worth £7,000, was destroyed in an arson attack in May 2013.

Sadly it cost so much to remove it pupils at the school had to play around the damage during their lunch break until the school and generous supporters raised enough money to replace it.

Waterloo School, in Warfield Avenue, supports pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs.

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Councillor Leah Turner, the Mayor of Havant, finally unveiled the fantastic new equipment.

Teacher Deborah McComb, the school’s behaviour manager, said: ‘The arson attack was horrible for everyone, especially the children, they were devastated. The worst thing was that they had to look at it every single day in the playground because it was too expensive for us to have removed.

‘We were very worried about the tree that overlooked the play equipment because it was quite badly burned. Luckily, it is fine and healthy.’

While the play equipment was out of bounds the pupils made good use of the surrounding parks, including Jubilee Park. But they were delighted when the new equipment costing thousands of pounds was finally put in place and unveiled by a very special guest.

Mrs McComb said: ‘They children thought it was wonderful that the Mayor of Havant came to their school.

‘Some of them were so excited about the mayor being there they asked for her autograph.

‘She was lovely with the children and they thought she was super important.’

The new Trim Trail equipment includes ropes and climbing frames.

Mrs McComb added: ‘The children at this school struggle with unstructured time.

‘Having equipment that provides them with something to do is really important and helps to avoid issues with behaviour after lunch.’

Year six pupil Bailey Gee, 10, said: ‘We were really excited when the new play equipment was put in.

‘Everyone likes to go on it and play on it.’