Story & photos: Brent Moya
An attack of vandalism that led to an explosion on Grimesthorpe allotments has caused outrage amongst its members and staff.
Sage Greenfingers allotment is a meeting place for around 40 people, most of whom have chronic mental health problems. It has been temporarily closed due to the explosion of several gas canisters during a suspected arson attack on Sunday 13th January.
Manager John Lawson, a local resident, says the attack came as a surprise.
“I only found out after the fire brigade had been called by a resident on Grimesthorpe Road at 2am on Monday morning”
The explosion has caused severe damage, particularly to the greenhouse and metal tool shed which contained a large quantity of valuable equipment. Because of this the group have suspended any further meetings for the time being.
John explained that many of the project’s users will be affected, “Most of the people who come here are very isolated and this gives them their only chance to interact with other people.”
With the repair costs estimated in the £5000-7000 bracket, and the project is now appealing for donations, or loans, of tools and equipment. They urgently need protective clothing, such as gloves, weather proofs and boots. Tools are also needed so the project can start the all important spring work.
John remains optimistic that normal service will soon resume, “We hope to be back to normal within 6 to 8 weeks” he emphasised.
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