CASH collected for new play equipment after the devastating fire at Droitwich’s Lido Park has now gone through the £11,200 barrier.
The fund-raiser was co-ordinated by Matt Nicol of Nicol and Co estate agents and as soon as the scheme was launched, residents and businesses from across the Spa scrambled to pledge money to help.
Matt told The Standard the response from everyone had been amazing.
“Through the justgiving site, I was getting an email everytime a donation was made.
“I was out on Friday and when I got back on the evening, I had 134 new emails – all telling me about people and companies who had pledged money.”
We reported on last Friday’s front page and on our website the day before how the suspected arson attack had destroyed 70 per cent of the play area, causing more than £11,000 worth of damage and leading to much outrage in the Droitwich community.
Matt said: “We’ve all been past the Lido Park play area or used it with our children at some point.
“It’s important to the local area and therefore important to us.”
And the fund-raising will not end there – more money is being donated everyday and a number of charity events are in the pipeline, including a bake sale at Westacre Middle School.
Matt met with Wychavon District Council representatives on Monday (July 7) and after the cash raised has been used to restore the play area its former glory, it is hoped there will be some left over for more equipment, specifically for younger children, and new benches.
Wychavon District Council chairman, Coun Lynne Duffy, said: “It’s amazing and shows what community spirit there is in Droitwich.
“It’s so sad that it has taken such an incident to get this response,” she added.
Phil Merrick, head of community services at Wychavon District Council, said the authority had been totally overwhelmed by the public’s response after the fire.
“Our moods were pretty down after seeing the damage to the play area and especially knowing that it was deliberately done.
“But the campaign and the public reaction have really lifted our spirits.
“The donations are great and the comments are very inspiring – they’ve helped to lift our resolve.”
Matt, Phil and Coun Duffy thanked everyone involved in the campaign and everyone who had donated cash.
It is hoped the new play area will be up-and-running for at least some of the school summer holiday but Wychavon wants to stress that, in the meantime, the rest of the Lido Park was open as usual for everyone to enjoy, along with the Lido pool and cafe.
Visit www.justgiving.com/yimby/LidoPark for more on the fund-raising campaign or to donate.
Anyone with any information should call police on 101.
Read more: Droitwich praised for community spirit shown after park fire | Droitwich Standard