The devastation and loss that Duxford School, Pre School and its whole community are feeling right now is shared here amongst its friends and neighbours of Whittlesford.
The Governors of Duxford Community School have set up crowdfunding to help replace books and equipment and any donation no matter how small will be gratefully received.
All the staff and everyone involved with Duxford Preschool are devastated that our lovely village Preschool has been totally destroyed by a fire, suspected to be arson, that gutted our premises and KS1 classrooms of Duxford Primary School on the evening of Friday 31.7.20. Following what has been a very challenging year regarding covid-19 restrictions and guidelines for everyone in education the Preschool closed for their Summer break on 23.7.20. All 8 staff and all the children were safely away from the premises.
The following is an excerpt from the Cambs fire service page:
“At 8.26pm on Friday (31) crews were called to a fire on St John’s Street in Duxford. Around 50 firefighters, including crews from Cambridge, Gamlingay, Huntingdon and Ramsey, along with crews from Saffron Walden in Essex, Newmarket in Suffolk, plus Royston and Baldock in Hertfordshire attended the incident. Firefighters arrived to find a well-developed fire in a single storey building that houses both KS1 of Duxford Primary School and the village Preschool. Wearing breathing apparatus they extinguished the fire using hose reels and jets and checked the area for hot spots using thermal imaging cameras.
Crews were present throughout the night to ensure the fire was out and the scene was safe. The last crew left the scene by around 5.30am”
Duxford Preschool is an independent, Committee-run, Ofsted-registered, charity setting and have been in the village for approximately 30 years. We watched the fire consume the whole of our business and leave only the shell, which is deemed structurely unsafe and must be demolished. We have lost everything – all our resources and play equipment for the children ( aged 2yr 3m up to 5 years ) ; all our furniture and storage; our office/staff room with all our equipment & storage there; our lovely, well-equipped little kitchenette where we prepared the children’s food….everything. No matter how big or small, every little thing, whether homemade, donated, found or created has gone. The magic and wonder of everything provided for the children has been lost.
We are still in shock at this senseless tragedy for us and the village as a whole and we are putting our minds and hearts to how we will rise as a stronger and more precious setting. The staff are what makes a place for children and we will be working very hard to ensure the village keeps a fabulous not-for-profit facility for future generations.
We have been deeply touched by all the messages of support and offers of help that we have received from our local community and further afield. It has been humbling and very moving to see the response to the Just Giving page set up by the Governors of Duxford Primary School to raise money for the Preschool, the DX club who provide wrap-around care for the school and for the Primary School itself – to help replace resources and equipment. As of today, ( Sunday 2.8.20 ), the total stands at £10,500.