Aid for arson-hit Trowbridge school

Chris Spender and Catherine Stone with Larkrise headteacher Phil Cook and pupils, and, inset, Danny Spender

Chris Spender and Catherine Stone with Larkrise headteacher Phil Cook and pupils, and, inset, Danny Spender

First published in Trowbridge by

Two friends have given £1,690 to Trowbridge’s Larkrise School as it continues to recover from a fire last year that destroyed a shed full of specialist equipment.

Chris Spender and Catherine Stone, who live in Warminster, joined together in support of the school for children with severe disabilities, after it suffered a suspected arson attack in December.

The school, in Ashton Street, lost equipment including scooters and tricycles worth £3,000.

Mrs Stone, whose 12-year-old daughter Yasmin Payne goes to Larkrise, joined forces with Mr Spender to hold a karaoke night at The Bell and Crown in Warminster, which raised £690, and Mr Spender donated a further £1,000. Mrs Stone said: “Lots of people in Warminster have rallied around.” In August 2011, Freemason Mr Spender’s son, Colour Sergeant Danny Spender, 32, lost both legs after being caught in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan.

He was given £1,000 by the Wiltshire Province of Freemasons to support his family, which he didn’t need to use. When he offered to return it he was told to spend it how he saw fit and chose to support Larkrise.

Mr Spender, a warehouse and IT manager at Junction 18, in Warminster, said: “I plan to continue fundraising for them.” The pair are planning another event later in the year.

Headteacher Phil Cook said the funds were being put towards ongoing building work to improve the school’s sensory facilities.

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