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Community rallies together to help restore school’s gardening club after it was destroyed by vandals

Dereham's community has rallied together to support Neatherd High School�s gardening club after hundreds of hours of hard work was destroyed. New Plants (from left) Riley Woodard, Harry Bulldeath, Joshua Blackburn and Ethan Pedlow with some of the many plants which were donated. Picture: NEATHERD HIGH SCHOOL

Dereham's community has rallied together to support Neatherd High School�s gardening club after hundreds of hours of hard work was destroyed. New Plants (from left) Riley Woodard, Harry Bulldeath, Joshua Blackburn and Ethan Pedlow with some of the many plants which were donated. Picture: NEATHERD HIGH SCHOOL

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Community spirit has restored faith to a group of pupils after their school garden was trashed by vandals

Dereham's community has rallied together to support Neatherd High School�s gardening club after hundreds of hours of hard work was destroyed. Planting in polytunnel (from left) Charlie Norton, Chris Smith, Jaime Mallett and Gracie Brown. Picture: NEATHERD HIGH SCHOOLDereham's community has rallied together to support Neatherd High School�s gardening club after hundreds of hours of hard work was destroyed. Planting in polytunnel (from left) Charlie Norton, Chris Smith, Jaime Mallett and Gracie Brown. Picture: NEATHERD HIGH SCHOOL

Businesses and local residents of Dereham, and its surrounding area, have rallied together to support Neatherd High School’s gardening club after hundreds of hours of hard work was destroyed.

Members of the club were left “disappointed and heartbroken” following the discovery of the attack at the school’s garden, off Norwich Road, during the half term holiday.

As well as plants on the allotment being ripped up and planting beds disrupted, a polytunnel was also slashed with a gardening fork multiple times.

Many people were so moved by the event that they quickly offered help.

Dereham's community has rallied together to support Neatherd High School�s gardening club after hundreds of hours of hard work was destroyed. Homebase donation � Paul and Tanya Huxley presenting the donation from Homebase Dereham. Picture: NEATHERD HIGH SCHOOLDereham's community has rallied together to support Neatherd High School�s gardening club after hundreds of hours of hard work was destroyed. Homebase donation � Paul and Tanya Huxley presenting the donation from Homebase Dereham. Picture: NEATHERD HIGH SCHOOL

“We have received numerous offers of help and donations,” said leader Stewart Anderson. “From staff, pupils, parents, and members of the public to local and national companies – we have been overwhelmed by the kind gestures and messages of people and this has restored our faith in the good of people.”

The gardening club received more than 100 established vegetable plants including tomatoes, mallows, strawberries, courgettes, pumpkins and onions, and others have donated water butts, forks, watering cans and other items the gardening club are in need of.

Several members of the community have donated money and a fundraising page has also been set up to get the club up and running again.

The pupils were extremely busy this afternoon (Tuesday), getting all the new plants in the ground ready for their Food for Life gold standard inspection tomorrow (Wednesday).

Deputy headteachers, Jaime Mallett and Chris Smith, visited the allotment.

“We have always known that our school serves a wonderful community,” said Mr Mallett. “The response we received just epitomises this.”

Mr Smith added: “As ever, we continue to be so proud of the hard work and achievement of our students, the gardening club is just one example for this.”

This was the third time in three years that the garden had been attacked by vandals.

- To help the gardening club or to donate visit the fundraising page www.gofundme.com/regrow-our-gardening-club.

Neatherd High School and members of its gardening club would like to thank the following companies for their donations:

- Dereham Homebase (12 sacks of compost, plants and seeds)

- Cabins Unlimited (potting shed)

- Dereham Co-op (cash donation, compost, water butt)

- John Innes Horticultural Services (plants)

- Jewsons (gardening equipment)

- Toftwood Garden Centre (plants and gardening equipment)

- DACS design (15 watering cans)

- Mr Fothergill (seeds)

- DT Brown Seeds (seeds)

- UK Here We Grow Online (gardening equipment)

- Other companies and individuals are still coming forward with offers of help and donations.

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