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Community hall ruined in arson attack

Residents and parents are upset about the arson attacks on the WI Hut,on Sheep Bridge Lane, Rossington. Picture: Andrew Roe

Residents and parents are upset about the arson attacks on the WI Hut,on Sheep Bridge Lane, Rossington. Picture: Andrew Roe

A community has been left devastated after an arson attack destroyed a ‘much loved building’ and thousands of pounds of play equipment with it.

Fire crews were called out to the Women’s Institute Hall, near Sheep Bridge Lane in Rossington just after 3am on Friday, January 17, after it was set alight.

Nobody was injured in the fire, but the hall, which is home to several community groups including Rainbows and the Rossington Parent and Toddlers Group, has been completely destroyed - along with thousands of pounds worth of children’s toys and equipment that had been collected over many years.

A spokesmen for South Yorkshire fire and rescue confirmed the blaze was started deliberately, and a police investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fire is ongoing.

Rossington Parent and Toddler group leader, and mum-of-two Cathy Gittings, 44, said the Women’s Institute Hall was a building that had been ‘bringing the community together’ for many years.

Cathy, of Wadworth Avenue, in Rossington added: “We are all disgusted that someone could do this to a much loved building in our community.

“Everyone brings their children to the group, it’s the only place in the community that everyone can afford.And now all of the toys are gone, and it looks like we’re going to have to find a new premises.”

The parent and toddler group will be held at the Holmescarr Community Enterprice Centre on Grange Lane in Rossington for the next few weeks, starting from Monday, January 27 with sessions taking place between 9am and 11am, and 1pm until 3pm.

Rossington mum, Cheryl Moy, said the community had been left devastated by the fire . “Five minutes of vandalism has had a devastating effect on our community. I wonder if whoever did this understands that,” she added.

Since the incident, people have been donating toys to childrens groups who use the building. Anyone who would like to make a donation to the children’s groups should call Cathy on 07762 249221.

 

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