Fire-hit Liberton Primary School pupils launch online fundraiser

Nine-year-old pals hope to replace lost belongings

Thursday, 13th February 2020, 6:00 am
Rosa, left, and Emily

MINI marvels Rosa Higgenbotham and Emily Vickers are leading Liberton’s fightback from last week’s devastating school fire - after setting up their own online fundraiser.

Pupils at Liberton Primary are not expected to return to the building until April after the blaze which spread from a ground-floor classroom last Wednesday.

Now nine-year-old pals Emily and Rosa are seeking funds to help replace treasured classroom belongings - and have already smashed through their £500 target.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“The afternoon of the fire they were already talking about fundraising,” said Emily’s proud dad Ed, 44.

“The two of them were coming up with ideas of what they could do, I just gave them a little bit of help.

“Obviously the building is insured but this is about the sentimental stuff in the classrooms that made them feel welcoming.

“One of the teachers had a guitar which presumably has gone. That’s the stuff that made the school a welcoming place and obviously there’s a limit to what the budget can stretch to.

“I’m immensely proud. It’s something positive and the way they’ve approached it, the two of them, is really mature and commendable for two such young girls.”

Emily and Rosa even baked cakes and took them to Liberton Fire Station as a thanks to firefighters - and got the full tour treatment in return.

Ed added: “The firefighters were utterly brilliant, so accommodating. It’s nice from a community perspective that everybody is rallying round, that there’s a bit of positivity.”

The pair’s fundraising page had already drawn donations from 21 kind-hearted supporters and stood at £535 last night.

“The incident caused significant damage and at the moment we don’t know when we’ll be able to go back,” Emily and Rosa wrote on the page.

“We are fundraising to help rebuild our school and replace all the things we lost in the fire.

“We love our school and so does everybody else in the community so we hope we can make a difference.”

Edinburgh City Council said the fire caused "significant damage" and has put in contingency measures which will see pupils relocated to nearby schools.

Structural engineers are continuing to assess the building and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The temporary arrangements will see Prestonfield Primary School take in all nursery and P1 children, as well as a composite P1 and P2 class.

Castleview Primary School will take in the rest of Liberton's P2 pupils, while Castlebrae High School will accommodate all P3 to P6 classes.

Inch House Community Education Centre will take in P7 pupils.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to Emily and Rosa’s fundraising page can do so at: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/liberton-primary