A councillor who boosted fundraising for Tydd St Mary Pre-School has blasted its former treasurer for “stooping so low” to steal more than £4,800 from the organisation.
Coun Jack Tyrrell donated £500 from his ward budget to the current £4,500 fundraising drive spearheaded by the community, as did fellow Long Sutton district councillor Laura Eldridge.
It’s lower than low to take off kids – they are not stealing from the person who is running the place, they are stealing from the kids who are having the pre-school experience.Coun Jack Tyrrell
As reported in last week’s Free Press, the pre-school’s former treasurer Andrew Rivett (45), of Station Road, Tydd Gote, was jailed for eight months at Lincoln Crown Court for theft described by the judge as “almost fatal to the pre-school group”.
Coun Tyrrell said: “I can’t believe anybody would stoop that low in a position of trust.
“It’s lower than low to take off kids – they are not stealing from the person who is running the place, they are stealing from the kids who are having the pre-school experience.”
The councillors announced their donations at a family disco night organised by Kelly Walker, Amanda Browne, Beth Hunt, Michelle Smart, Tricia Browne and Naomi Andrews.
Kelly said they were so shocked by the theft from the pre-school that they felt they had to do something.
She said local businesses donated raffle prizes, DJ Mark Upson offered his services free, Mark’s wife Debbie offered glitter tattoos, and the event included an auction and a raffle. More than £500 was raised.
Naomi said a Tydd St Mary men v women football match was held on Sunday, which the women won 10-4, and £289 was raised.
The women had a little bit of masculine help thanks to team-mate Brett Newman, who donned a wig and a pink frock.
The grand total so far raised has risen to £2,500 but it is hoped this will go higher still with donations to come in via JustGiving.
Commenting on the theft by Rivett, Tydd St Mary Pre-School chairman Brenda Fursse said: “We were saddened that a member of our close community could put the pre-school in such a difficult position.
“However the staff and committee acted swiftly, professionally and competently over the last 18 months to ensure this has not affected the children in any way and have continued to provide the high level of care and learning.”
Ms Fursse said the committee reviewed its procedures to prevent a similar breach of trust in the future and had stepped up its own fundraising to keep the pre-school running.
She also acknowledged the support of friends, families and the community.
To donate please visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/TSMpreschool