Arsonists destroy children’s minibus

Karon Curryer, manager of the breakfast and after school club, pictured beside the charred wreckage of the minibus
Karon Curryer, manager of the breakfast and after school club, pictured beside the charred wreckage of the minibus

ARSONISTS destroyed a minibus, used to ferry children to and from school, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

They struck outside the Bridgemere Community Centre and set fire to the 10-year-old vehicle used for the centre’s breakfast and after school clubs.

The centre says it is the children and working parents who will lose out as it tries to replace the minibus as soon as possible.

It is hoping local businesses or other organisations will come forward and lend them a minibus until they can find the money to replace it.

In the meantime, the club will use taxis which will mean additional costs for parents who rely on the clubs to drop off and collect their children to and from school.

Karon Curryer, manager of the breakfast and after school club, which looks after up to 40 children a day, said on Wednesday morning everyone at the centre was devastated by the mindless damage.

“It is very upsetting,” she said. “The minibus is totally wrecked. The fire brigade was called just after 2am and eye witnesses said they saw people near the minibus before the fire started.”

Karon and centre manager Viv Strudwick also appealed to local businesses and other organisations to contact them if they could help with a replacement minibus until they can raise money for a new one.

Anyone who can help can contact the centre on 439700.

Police are now investigating the fire and Eastbourne police sergeant Ed Ripley said, “This is most unusual for an area which has very little crime.

“The Bridgemere Centre relies on the use of their minibus to facilitate transport for members of the local community.

“This facility is a great loss to the community, especially local children who rely on the minibus to transport them to and from school.

“I hope that alternative transport can be arranged sooner rather than later.

“I urge anyone with any information to contact me on 101 or 07787 685688, or to phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”