Parent power helps nursery after thieves cause thousands of pounds worth of damage
Friday 22nd September 2017 @ 15:50 by Tom Greggan
Denton & Audenshaw News Tameside

A Denton nursery has thanked parents for helping them to re-open after thieves caused tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage.

A gang of crooks stole lead from the roof of Jungle Junction Daycare on Duke Street, first on Saturday night and then again on Sunday night.

Heavy rain on Monday night caused Jungle Junction to flood before the damage could be fully fixed, meaning the nursery had to close on Tuesday. But parents rallied round by helping staff while they cleaned up and it’s now business as usual after the nursery re-opened on Wednesday.

One of the culprits on CCTV.

Jungle Junction Nursery Manager, Natalie Jones, said: “We came in on Monday morning and at first we thought we’d had a leak. It wasn’t until I was reporting that leak that I noticed the CCTV had been tampered with.

“We checked the video footage and saw them. They’d been up there for around 10 hours, hacking away. They were there on Saturday night and came back on Sunday night for more.”

While the internal damage was limited on Monday, heavy rain that evening worsened the situation. Fifty-two of the nursery’s 80 children were due in the next day, but parents and carers had to find other provisions. Natalie said she couldn’t thank them enough for their response to the disaster.

“You dread asking parents to find childcare on short notice but they couldn’t have been better,” she said. “The staff were in all day cleaning up and they were bringing us pizza and chips and brews and biscuits. We’re a real community nursery and that showed on Tuesday.”

Thanks to that community spirit, the nursery was able to re-open yesterday (Wednesday). “Two rooms are unusable but luckily we are quite a large nursery so we do have the room to be able to cope,” Natalie explained.

Contractors are now making the building watertight before a new roof is installed and the internal damage can be fixed. Thankfully, the nursery is insured as it’s thought around £20,000 worth of damage was caused.

Police have launched an investigation into the crime. A GMP statement said: “Shortly before 10.10am on Monday 18th September, police were called to reports of a burglary in Denton.

“Roof tiles were stolen which led to a leak that caused significant damage to the property.

“Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 555 of 18/09/17, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”