October 27th, 2016

Community rallies after vandals strike at Leamington Foundry project

Community rallies after vandals strike at Leamington Foundry project Community rallies after vandals strike at Leamington Foundry project
Happier times - Kristie Naimo and volunteers renovating the railway wagon, which was damaged during the recent vandalism attack.
Updated: 7:23 am, Aug 01, 2015

THE COMMUNITY has rallied round to raise more than £1,200 after vandals struck at a project in Leamington.

The Friends of Foundry Wood (FFW) arrived at the site on the former Ford foundry just over a month ago to discover extensive damage.

The recently renovated Railway Wagon workshop space had been ransacked with windows smashed, and the woodburner inside was broken beyond repair while the site’s rebuilt compost toilet had also been burnt down.

A local giving page was set up and now, less than a month after the incident, more than £1,000 has been donated by various members of the community.

And despite the severity of the damage, summer activities on the site – including a pizza making event, a volunteer day and a film night – are expected to go ahead as normal.

Speaking about the positive response, friends chair Kristie Naimo said: “Just three weeks after launching the appeal we have raised over £1,200 online, plus other donations via cheques and from visitors to the woodland.

“We are aiming to repair the windows in the railway wagon as soon as possible, and will be rebuilding a fire-resistant compost toilet later in the autumn.

“We would like to thank everyone who has supported our appeal for donations to repair the vandalism damage – the response and support has been amazing!”

Foundry Wood – co-managed by FFW and community interest company ARC – opened two years ago, and already attracts 2,500 visitors a year from scouts and guides to a mother and toddlers group.

Events range from wildlife walks, theatre, film and music events, community parties, pizza-making, craft activities and talks on the history of the site and its surroundings.

Security to the woodland was stepped-up following the attack and FFW are looking at more long term solutions with neighbouring Network Rail, police and fire services.

The incident is still being investigated by police who are appealing for people who saw anything suspicious on Prince’s Drive overnight on Sunday June 28 to contact them on 101.

Visit www.foundrywood.co.uk for further details or https://localgiving.com/appeal/foundrywood to donate to the appeal.