BY James Farrell | November 22 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

5 news edit

Community rallies round to help vandalism-hit Catholic primary school

A community has responded to bonfire night vandalism at a Catholic Primary School in Johnstone by raising over a thousand pounds to repair the damage.

Vandals caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to the garden at St Anthony’s Primary School in Johnstone, which is looked after by autistic pupils who attend the school.

The vandals damaged a shed and stole plants and garden benches in a bonfire night rampage.

Parents promptly set up a fundraising drive, with a gofundme page raising more than £1000, and local businesses Sweet 16 Candy Carts and Elderslie Butchers adding £600 worth of donations.

Pupil’s sadness

St Anthony’s Primary specialises in additional support for pupils who have autism, with smaller classes throughout the school and a specialist communication development unit.

Mari Gold, whose 11-year-old autistic son Alexander attends the school, said he was left devastated by the vandalism.

Speaking to The Gazette, Ms Gold said: “He put so much effort into the garden. They’ve been working on it pretty much since they started back at school in August.

“He can’t believe all his hard work is destroyed and he can’t understand why people would do such a thing.”

Police investigation

A Renfrewshire council spokesperson said: “We condemn the recent vandalism to the St Anthony’s school garden. The school has passed on CCTV footage to Police Scotland to help them catch those responsible.

“The school wishes to thank the local community for their fantastic support to help restore this much-used facility.”

Police have said their investigation is at an early stage.

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