Campaigners raise £750 to replace vandalised picnic bench in Blackpool’s South Shore

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When mindless vandals set fire to a picnic bench at Highfield Park in Blackpool’s South Shore, campaigners decided to raise funds to replace it.

 

The campaigners at the Highfield Road store raised £750 for the new picnic bench

The campaigners at the Highfield Road store raised £750 for the new picnic bench

The bench, used by families making the most of their local park, was completely incinerated.

Natalie East and Lee Ainsworth, who work as customer assistants at the Highfield Road branch of Tesco, decided to stage a prize draw and put together a hamper packed with goodies as the prize.

The pair, supported by their store manager, were delighted when customers and residents got behind the fundraising campaign and the £750 raised, supported by a donation from Tesco, is enough to buy a new picnic bench.

The incinerated bench in Highfield Park in South Shore

The incinerated bench in Highfield Park in South Shore

Natalie said: “I saw the burned bench and I just thought it was a shame that facilities for the residents could be destroyed like that.

“I know a few people around here were upset about it as well.

“I decided to organise a prize draw and Lee was really good at promoting it.

“The support we’ve had has been brilliant, I was really pleased we raised so much in such a short time.”

Natalie liaised with the Friends of Highfield Park and Blackpool Council and a replacement picnic bench is to be installed soon.”

Gary Pennington, chairman of the Friends of Highfield Park, said: “There were only two picnic benches, so when one of them was destroyed people weren’t happy about it.

“The park is well used and residents like to get together and sit on the benches.

“The way businesses and residents have got together in this way just shows how strong the community spirit is around here.

“We cannot thanks the staff at the local branch of Tesco enough for starting this.”