Project rises from ashes

New HQ: The volunteers in their new tool store. Inset, their old shed was destroyed in an arson attack by burglars
New HQ: The volunteers in their new tool store. Inset, their old shed was destroyed in an arson attack by burglars
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A project which provides work for adults with learning difficulties has risen from the ashes after an arson attack.

The Community Tool Library at Cherry Tree Gardens, Marton, was used to store garden tools and equipment for the New Langdale Community Volunteers.

The volunteers are a group of 25 adults who help to spruce up and tidy walkways, paths and small gardens in the area.

They also work with pupils at St Georges School on a community garden and allotment in the school grounds.

However, the volunteers were left devastated in August when thieves broke into the building, stole tools and set the shed alight.

Now – thanks to donations from nearby residents and local businesses – they are back up and running with new tools and a fireproof shipping container HQ.

Tools owned by the library are available for people to borrow, like a book from a traditional library.

Coun Kath Rowson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for adult services, said: “The generosity of the community has been overwhelming, and we’re delighted the Community Tool Library is now back in action.

“This will make an enormous difference to the volunteers, the area and the local residents.”

Blackpool Council New Langdale volunteer co-ordinator, Neil Froggett MBE, said: “We are extremely thankful to everyone who has contributed to getting the project back on track.

“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone who has contributed. And our promise is to be back bigger, stronger and better than before.”

And John Donnellon, chief executive of Blackpool Coastal Housing, who contributed to the restoration effort and who support the volunteers’ work, said: “This is fantastic news, and we’re glad to have been able to help.

“The volunteers make an enormous contribution to the community around Cherry Tree Gardens, and I know our residents have a close bond with them. We hope this will be a fresh start for them.”

Blackpool-based medical equipment manufacturer DePuy CMW made a donation allowing the volunteers to purchase new equipment this week as did local ward councillors, Couns Adrian Hutton and Luke Taylor.

The Homebase store on Waterloo Road gave a discount on many tools.