Computers are latest donations to Mile Cross Phoenix Centre’s arson appeal

10:22 31 December 2012

Phoenix Centre children

Phoenix Centre children's development worker Trish Hewett receives the donated computer from Wendy Maxwell and Derek Oakes from carer group chill4us. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Archant Norfolk

An arson-hit community centre was given a helping hand on Friday when a carers group donated a computer.

The Phoenix Centre in Mile Cross was partially destroyed in a fire on Saturday, December 15. But a flood of donations has meant the Mile Cross Road community centre has quickly got back on its feet.

The PC was donated by Wendy Maxwell from Hellesdon, who founded a website and chatroom for carers called Chill4us.

Mrs Maxwell said: “It was a real joy to give the PC to the Phoenix Centre. It was awful that such a thing should happen around Christmas. The staff are keeping cheerful through difficult times.”

The centre lost two computers in the fire which were stored in the tuck shop and were due to be given to the children who use the Phoenix Centre. A second computer has also been donated to replace the two lost. The refurbished PC will be used in the centre’s office to replace an old one currently used.

Peter Lemmon, a trustee of the centre, said: “The computer will speed things up for us. It will help the children a lot because it will mean we can access things faster.”

Calls to the centre offering help following the arson attack continue to come in two weeks after the fire.

Kerrison Toys, which has a store on Aylsham Road, Norwich, has donated a new pool table which will go in a youth club room.

Other gifts include tins of paint from the Dulux trade centre off Drayton Road, Norwich.

Mr Lemmon added: “People are still ringing us up and offering their help but we are in limbo at the moment. We are waiting to hear from the insurers but we are trying to get in as many groups as we can.”

The centre was set alight at about 10pm on the Saturday, damaging the roof and back rooms. Two teenage boys have been arrested in connection with the arson and released on bail.

If you want to make a donation or find out how you can help, call Joy Mitchell on 07956 293240 or the Phoenix Centre on 01603 403814. Alternatively, donations can be posted to treasurer Sonia Kiddell at 8 Bassingham Road, Mile Cross, Norwich NR3 2QT.


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