When Mark Dance, Store Manager, Toomeys of Southend, read in his local paper that vandals had smashed the fish tank at Mini Marvels, a local charity-run pre-school, he could not let it pass without action.
He explains: “I didn’t know the school or the staff but I thought of my own children and how devastated they would be to learn that the tank had been smashed and the fish killed.”
Mark decided to start a forecourt collection and also sought a donation from his fuel supplier, Certas Energy, raising over £500. Another £500 contribution was made by Rochford Community Church, while parents and residents, with no affiliation with the school, have donated toys and costumes.
With the backing of a local pet shop, he has now presented the children with a new top of the range aquarium and fish.
“It’s been a great community effort,” continues Mark. “We had a collection tin at the till with a copy of the article from the paper about the break in. A lovely couple donated £20 after seeing the story in the Echo. It has been nice to have this response from customers.”
“The tank is a lot nicer than the one before, with tropical fish. The children can look at all the colours and learn about them as well.
Janine Gould, the chairman of the pre-school, has been thrilled by the gesture.
“The children have been so excited; I’m really overwhelmed by Mr Dance’s generosity and knowing that the local community is pulling together. It’s nice to have a happy ending to this story.”