Callous thieves make off with youngsters’ Christmas cash

SPROUGHTON: Christmas party plans for children and their families are today on hold after thieves broke into a cash-strapped special school and stole their savings.

“We can’t have a party without presents,” said Alison Stonham, head of early years at the School for Parents, which caters for children with cerebral palsy.

The specialist teacher arrived at the school, in Burstall Lane, Sproughton, at 8.35am on Tuesday to find the devastation left behind by the thieves.

“At first I thought someone had moved something but then I saw the safe was missing, all our draws had been opened and the filing cabinet opened.”

Terrified, she phoned 999 to report the break-in.

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“I had to leave the building in case whoever did it was still here, it was frightening because we are quite isolated.”

Staff were horrified when they realised the contents of the safe were missing.

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The school welcomed Dame Vera Lynn and Hayley Westenra at the start of the month for its official relaunch.

Sara Baxter, regional fundraiser for The Dame Vera Lynn Trust, which stepped in to help the struggling school, said: “We had �137 in there that we had been saving for the Christmas party, we were going to buy presents and snacks for the children.

“We won’t be able to have the Christmas party now.”

The fire-proof safe, worth �300 itself, also contained a video camera, a digital camera and �24 in petty cash.

Alison added: “It makes me sick that someone would do this, we are a small charity and we have banners at the entrance so they must have known who they were stealing from.”

The battered safe was later found dumped just off the A14 at Braziers Wood, Ipswich.

A police spokesman confirmed they are investigating a break-in at the school which occurred between 4pm on Monday and 8.35am the following day.

Anyone with information should call the Crime Investigation Bureau (CIB) on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

n What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstar or call 01473 324840.

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