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Arson-hit group gets 'amazing' help offers


An award-winning garden project targeted by arsonists has had offers of help from as far afield as America.

A Place to Grow – which helps the young, disabled and people with depression – lost all its tools and other items in the attack last week.

After the story appeared in the Mercury, offers of cash and replacement sheds and tools have come flooding in.

Project leader Abdul Asghar said: "It's been amazing. We've had offers of financial help from all over the county and even from a similar project in America.

"The Freemasons have offered us £500 and Caterpillar, in Desford, has offered £1,000 and some help on the site.

"Lots of people are calling about tools, sheds, spades and donations of cash. It's been a massive response."

A Place to Grow, run by Community Action Partnership and Blaby District Council, is an allotment site for schools and community groups, and helps people with mental health problems who benefit from the chance to work outdoors, socialise and watch their plants flourish.

The fire at its Enderby base destroyed a chalet and two storage sheds. The arsonists also broke into other, privately-owned allotments during the incident on January 19.

Freemason David Turner, who arranged for the organisation to donate £500, also hopes to provide a new, secure metal container for the site.

He said: "I thought it was absolutely despicable that something like this could happen. I couldn't believe anyone could do something like this to a place that does so much for people in need of help.

"We've pledged the money and I'm waiting to hear back about the metal container."

Caterpillar contacted Abdul to offer £1,000 cash, plus free labour to help clear the site.

David Nixon, human resources manager, said: "We, like everyone else in the area, were very disappointed to hear of the recent damage sustained at A Place to Grow, as it provides valuable support to many in the community.

"We are delighted to be able to help by providing labour to help clear the area and prepare it for the forthcoming year."

Donations of cash and offers of items have also been made by numerous members of the public.

An 83-year-old woman, from Frisby on the Wreake, who wished to remain anonymous, has offered A Place to Grow two tables and six chairs similar to the ones lost in the fire.

She said: "I felt ever so sorry for them. I've got the tables and chairs in my shed. I've recently lost my husband and don't really need all of them now.

"I hope they'll be able to put them to good use."

People who can help with the tools appeal can contact Abdul on 0116 272 7670. Anyone with information about the attack can call police on 101.

Arson-hit group gets 'amazing'  help offers

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