Loanhead after school club ‘devastated by fire’ handed vital cash lifeline

Fire damage at the Kabin's storage shed in Loanhead. Picture: Scott Louden
Fire damage at the Kabin's storage shed in Loanhead. Picture: Scott Louden
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AN after school club which was left devastated after a fire ravaged through its facilities has been handed a financial lifeline.

Operating from the Loanhead Centre at Paradykes Primary School, LASC Childcare Services has provided a vital support to children and their families for a number of years.

But the organisation’s future was left in doubt last month after fire destroyed £10,000 worth of toys and specialist play equipment, having a major effect on the play 
opportunities for children with additional support needs.

Now as part of its quarterly funding award programme, Radio Forth’s Cash for Kids has donated £6,000 to the group to help it continue operating its valued community service.

The donation is one of a raft of funding awards handed out this quarter to various grassroots groups and individuals in need throughout Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife.

In total £93,952 has been issued to help 28,000 children who are disadvantaged through poverty or disability.

Irene Hogg, Project Manager at ALSC Childcare Services, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Cash for Kids for their support.

“Last month’s fire was 
absolutely devastating and this has had a serious effect on our additional support needs service, due to the lost of the specialist equipment.

“The money will help to pay for new specialist equipment and toys and means we can rebuild quicker so that the young people and their families who need our help are able to continue enjoying what’s become a truly valued community service.”

Emma Kemp, Charity Manager at Radio Forth’s Cash for Kids, added: “We’re on course for a record-breaking year of donations at Radio Forth’s Cash for Kids and that’s all thanks to the individuals and businesses who’ve dug deep and given us what they can.

“All the money raised goes to local groups and individuals in Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife. Services like LASC Childcare are so invaluable to their local communities and we’re delighted to step in and provide some assistance in their hour of need.

“Everyone who’s donated to Radio Forth’s Cash for Kids should be proud to know that they’ve done their bit to help local children and their families.”

Police have charged a 15-year-old boy over the fire at the school.

The incident happened around 8.20pm on Saturday, September 23.

Inspector John Dryden of Penicuik Police Station said: “Starting fires deliberately can not only cause damage to property but also poses a risk to life or serious injury.

“It was fortunate on this occasion that no-one was injured, however, children who rely on the specialist equipment have been deprived of these resources.”

Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for education, Councillor Jim Muirhead said at the time: “Anyone involved in this act of wanton destruction should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.”