Arson prompts fundraiser for Horley preschool

Heart of the Community fund raisers for Horley Preschool (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150526-150847001
Heart of the Community fund raisers for Horley Preschool (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150526-150847001

A building used by a pre-school that was destroyed in an arson attack has been described as the “heart of the community”.

Strawson Community Hall, in Albert Road, Horley, was home to several groups, including Horley Community Pre-school.

The fire destroyed the wooden hut on May 18. The day after it happened, the pre-school gave its children cuddly toys with a note attached that read: “Our pre-school is on fire and you have been brave. Please look after me and I will keep you safe. Bring me back to our new building really soon.”

More than £1,000 was raised in 18 hours to replace toys and equipment in an online appeal.

Dan Gould, 34, of Kingsley Road, Horley, whose children go to the pre-school, set it up. He said: “The pre-school has been there for 40 years, it’s the heart of the community.

“All the parents wanted to do as much as they can, even ex-parents of children that have been there years ago.”

Parents donated funds, toys and equipment following social media appeals.

Surrey Police has appealed for witnesses to the arson, which happened at around 1am.

The Trustees of Strawson Community Hall raised £80,000 over seven years to restore the hall.

Doug Kilborn, chairman of the voluntary group, said its insurance claim had been accepted and an architect appointed to rebuild the hall.

Other groups which used the site have appealed for funds.

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