Community rallies to help after Burnley park's open air free children's library trashed by vandals
Kind hearted members of the community have stepped forward to help after a project, that became a labour of love for a book lover, was destroyed by vandals.
Park users were devastated to discover the Little Free Library, set up in Ightenhill Park just under a year ago, had been trashed.
The project was the idea of Suzanne Smith, a member of the Friends of Ightenhill Park who is also a passionate book lover and wanted to do something to encourage more children to pick up a book.
She made use of a colourful plastic cupboard, that had been gathering dust in her garage, and filled it with an assortment of books. The idea for the library was for children to choose a book which they could return or swap or donate another book.
Suzanne made sure the library was well stocked and tried to include certain books to match with the time of year such as first readers for the start of the school year and festive themed books at Christmas.
Last Friday, vandals smashed the cupboard and left several books strewn on the ground in the rain.
Suzanne said: "It was just soul destroying to see this.
"The project has been well supported by the community and I have received so many messages since this happened offering help."
Among those offering to help are an Ightenhill resident who works at JBI Engineering in Simonstone. He has offered to make a brand new and more robust library for the park.
And the Morrisons store in Nelson is donating books for the library thanks to Kirsty Carter who lives in Ightenhill but works at the store.
Suzanne said: "The kindness of people has been overwhelming but so good to see that people care and want to help us."
This is the second time the park has been targeted by vandals. Over the half term break a poly tunnel, set up to protect raised beds that will be used to grow plants and flowers, was vandalised.Once again the community rallied to support the Friends' group with Ighten Leigh Social Club making a donation of £500 and a security firm has stepped forward to offer help with installing CCTV cameras.