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Crowdfunding campaign launched to raise funds for Norwich church’s vandalised community play bus

PUBLISHED: 14:00 24 February 2018

Gavin Goldsmith, left, Jono Thorne, centre, and Karl Connell, members of the Alive Church, work to clear up and board up the vandalised windows on the church bus in Armes Street after they were vandalised. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Gavin Goldsmith, left, Jono Thorne, centre, and Karl Connell, members of the Alive Church, work to clear up and board up the vandalised windows on the church bus in Armes Street after they were vandalised. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

A church whose community bus was vandalised has launched a crowdfunding page.

The Alive Church's bus in Armes Street with the vandalised windows. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Alive Church's bus in Armes Street with the vandalised windows. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The JustGiving page, launched by Alive Church, is hoping to raise £5,000 towards repairs.

A spate of vandalism targeted five to six vehicles on Armes Street and Nelson Street in Norwich, including Alive Church’s community bus on February 12.

Three windows of the church’s double-decker bus, which was due to be made into a play space for children, were completely smashed in, and the front windscreen damaged.

Writing on her JustGiving page, Jomiy Boulter said: “Alive church purchased a double decker bus which was being transformed into a soft play area for local disadvantaged and disabled children as somewhere safe to play.

The Alive Church's bus in Armes Street with the vandalised windows. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Alive Church's bus in Armes Street with the vandalised windows. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“As work was due to start vandals smashed up and destroyed windows and things which were needed. The repairs are over £4,000 and that is just one window so as you can imagine the damage caused is thousands.

“As a community we would like to help raise money so these very expensive repairs can be done and the bus can be repaired so work can begin to give the children in the community something which is desperately needed.”

The bus was bought to create a soft play and adventure area for primary school children to boost social skills and youngsters’ mental health.

Johanna Thorne, Alive Church pastor, said the bus would be used by children of families who could not afford parties. Mrs Thorne said: “One of the things important to us as a church is providing for the community.

“We want to look at the services we offer to children. We are looking to provide play opportunities.”

Jono Thorne, 23, who lives on Armes Street and works for Alive Church, said the project’s planned summer launch was under threat because of the vandalism. He said: “The people who did this should be ashamed.

“We are going to have to find the money to make the space safe again. The first priority is making it safe. The cost of new window panels will be hard to stomach.”

To support the appeal, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jomiy-boulter

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