Wellies and PE kits bring joy after school fire

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Hundreds of PE kits and wellie boots have been given to children at an Eastbourne school which was badly damaged by fire.

Youngsters at Shinewater Primary, in Milfoil Drive, proudly donned their boots and clutched their kitbags, bought thanks to fundraising by parents and members of two churches.

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Shinewater was badly damaged by fire in October, losing eight classrooms, and children have been taking lessons in mobile classrooms which take up the entire playground. As a result, they have to play on the playing field at break time – a somewhat muddy task, given the recent weather.

Now, thanks to the efforts of parents Autumn Garner, Anna Deacon and Tracey Monck, the school has 400 pairs of boots to keep little feet dry.

Among the many things destroyed in the fire were the children’s PE kits. Members of the Victoria Baptist Church, in Eldon Road, and the Gateway Church, in Lottbridge Drive, quickly stepped up and raised enough money to buy 250 new kits.

Shinewater headteacher Theresa Buttery described the generosity of the fundraisers as “phenomenal” and added: “It’s been the most positive thing that’s happened and has shown us a side of the parents we don’t often get to see.”

Other donations came via individuals and included a digital piano from Bonners Music Superstore, in Langney Road.

Mrs Buttery said the fundraising had amounted to almost £4.500 in the two months since the fire.

The cost of repairs will be covered by insurance and she added: “We hope to get it all done and dusted by September.”

Mrs Buttery praised the way pupils had coped with the aftermath of the fire. She said: “The children are always stars and are resilient like you won’t believe.”

Pictured are:

1. Parent fundraisers Autumn Garner, Anna Deacon and Tracey Monck, whose raised money to buy 400 pairs of wellies. They are with headteacher Theresa Buttery and children Rhianna Fuller, Ellis Skipper, Oliver Brown, Laila-Mae West and Dainis Lukasevics.

2. Representatives from Victoria Baptist Church and Gateway Church who raised money to buy 250 PE kits. They are the Rev Dr Ian White, Carol Dadswell, Jason Cottingham, Cynthia Lilley and also Linda Carey who organised a ‘Zumbathon’. Holding their new PE kits are Lilly Buckland, Phoebe Stoner, Luca Rebaudo and Jade Mawdsley-Warner.

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