NURSERY staff were all smiles when they were presented with cheques after donations poured in following a break-in over the holidays.
Heartless vandals trashed the garden of the YMCA Nursery, in Gosport, while it was closed for a week over Christmas.
Toys were broken, items were stolen and the intruders also urinated over equipment.
Discarded cigarette ends, beer cans and drug-related paraphernalia littered the grounds, and staff had to throw the majority of the nursery’s equipment out.
A Go Fund Me page was set up by Angie Tailor-Joice – whose daughter, Indy, four, goes to the nursery – to try to replace what was damaged and stolen.
And the campaign exploded with generous donations from members of the public, as well as football team Fareham Workies and charity HMS Centurion, resulting in over £800.
We can’t believe the community spirit that everyone has shownJo Currass
Toys also flooded in from the Gosport Shed, Gomer Junior School and Queen Alexandra Hospital.
Jo Currass, manager of the nursery at St Vincent College, says she has been blown away by the response of everyone who has helped get involved with the campaign. Staff and parents will discuss what to spend the money on and will also give children the opportunity to decide.
Jo said: ‘We can’t believe the community spirit that everyone has shown and we really have been overwhelmed.
‘We are so grateful to everyone who has contributed.’
Jo added that the nursery will likely have CCTV installed having been broken into five times in two-and-a-half years.
Angie, from Gosport, said: ‘We absolutely smashed our first target after a day.
‘I was really gutted for all of the girls and the children – for some of them it’s the only garden they get to play in. All I can say is a massive thank you to everyone.
‘You do not know how much it will mean to them. The children love this garden and to get it back up to scratch or maybe even make it better is incredible.’
Anyone with any information can contact Hampshire Constabulary on 101, quoting 44170002054.