Ash Green school fire: Halifax community rallies round - 'There won't be anyone who knows Mixenden that hasn't felt the devastation'

People in Mixenden and beyond have been rallying round to support Ash Green Primary School.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 2:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 2:29 pm

The much-loved school, described as “the heart of the community” has been inundated with offers of support and help, and an online fundraiser has already collected more than £3,500.

Rev Robb Sutherland, Vicar of Holy Trinity Church and Vice-Chair of the school’s governors, said: “It’s a proper community school.

“One of the great things about the people of Mixenden and about living here is that everyone looks after each other and the offers of support for the school have been phenomenal.”

The damage left by the fire at Ash Green Primary School. Photo by Bruce Fitzgerald

He said parents have been left struggling to help their children understand what has happened to their school.

He has opened the church today and invited people inside for support and to talk. Dozens of adults and children had already taken up his offer by lunchtime, and shop Scoffers had donated a huge tray of sandwiches.

Fellow governor Danielle Durrans said; “It’s not just a school. When it’s a community like Mixenden, it’s a link to everything.

“This is just sheer devastation for everybody. There won’t be anyone who knows Mixenden that hasn’t felt the devastation. It’s painful for everybody.”

MP for Halifax Holly Lynch

She said the whole community is pulling together, resolved to get children back to the school as soon as possible.

“The school is amazing and we’re very lucky that we have a strong push to do whatever is needed.”

MP for Halifax Holly Lynch said: “Ash Green primary is the very heartbeat of Mixenden so the fire is utterly devastating.

“Head teacher Mungo Sheppard and his Ash Green team go over and above for their kids, their families and the whole of the Mixenden community and so I know people will be willing to do whatever it takes to ensure pupils who have been through so much in recent months can continue to learn and be supported in the weeks to come.

“Thanks to the fire service and police who were on scene throughout the night trying to secure the building and if anyone has any information regarding the fire to share with the police, please do contact them directly.”

Mixenden resident Shaun King said: "All four of my grandkids go here - two of them are in the end building, which you can see there's nothing there now.

"They're at home devastated and the little ones are just wanting to go back to school but nobody knows what's going to happen until they make it safe."

Another resident, Alan Biggins, said: "My partner and her parents attended this school, also our three children attended the lower site. Our fourth child will attend too.

"It’s just heartbreaking to see so many generations of memories lost. Mr Sheppard is a great guy. In and out of school, he always goes that extra mile to help anyone.

"All his lovely staff and children have been through a lot over the past few years and this is soul-destroying.

"I just hope everyone knows we has a community will do our upmost to make and rebuild our lives from this."