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£4,000 raised after rugby club changing rooms damaged in fire

PUBLISHED: 18:08 12 June 2020 | UPDATED: 18:08 12 June 2020

The changing rooms at Hadleigh Rugby Club were destroyed in the fire earlier this week Picture: CHARLIE WARBURTON

The changing rooms at Hadleigh Rugby Club were destroyed in the fire earlier this week Picture: CHARLIE WARBURTON

Archant

Members of Hadleigh Rugby Club have launched a GoFundMe page to raise funds after their changing rooms were devastated in a fire earlier this week.

Volunteer Francesca Hampshire set up the fundraising page with the backing of other members as the club looks to recover from the incident.

The page is aiming to £7,000 to cover any expenses that the club may not be able to claim on insurance and was at nearly £4,000 within 24 hours of being set up.

Charlie Warburton, club chairman, wanted to thank everyone who had donated to the cause and confirmed the money will be used to help support the club’s youth teams.

He said: “I can’t believe it. This has been incredibly helpful. People have been really wanting to support us.

“I’m honestly delighted and surprised that people have donated to us in these times.”

MORE: Rugby club changing rooms ‘completely gutted’ after late-night arson

Suffolk Fire Rescue Service were called just before midnight on Monday after receiving reports of a fire that had started in a storage container at the club in Layham Road.

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The blaze spread to the club pavilion, where it scorched the inside of the changing rooms and left them completely unusable.

The toilets and shower block in the building were also significantly damaged.

Fire crews from Ipswich East, Princes Street and Hadleigh were called to the scene and extinguished the fire an hour later.

Mr Warburton added: “We haven’t heard anything from the police about the fire but we’re aware of an investigation. I just can’t think of any reason why someone would do this.

“We are trying to raise funds for activities that we are determined to bring to our community.

“There is a social side of the club that is so important and life-affirming.”

The neighbouring clubroom from Hadleigh Tennis Club also suffered significant smoke damage.

Suffolk police confirmed on Tuesday they were treating the incident as arson and put out an appeal to speak to any potential witnesses.

Anyone with information related to the fire is urged to contact police, quoting CAD 9 of Tuesday, June 9.


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