Firstly, a huge thank you for your messages of support and for your donations to the 'Just Giving' page. A truly magnificent amount of money has been raised so far and I hope that this continues with a little publicity.
You may be aware that we have made the front page of the Leader today. Some statements are not a true reflection of what was said but the main point is that we get this message out there so that this doesn't continue to happen in the local community. The news report should also be in the Daily Post this week.
Although it has not been confirmed, I have heard that another school in the area had 10 bikes/trikes stolen from their grounds last night. Therefore, it is vitally important that we keep vigilant both at school and in your own homes. Tomorrow I intend on sending out the following information to the local residents to make them aware of what has happened and encourage them to also be vigilant.
Many thanks for your continued support
Letter to local residents
To whom it may concern
My name is Bryan Griffiths and I am the Headteacher of Ysgol y Llan VA Primary School in Whitford. I am writing to make you aware of a couple of incidents of theft that have happened at our school over recent weeks.
Over the past two weekends, we have had an entire shed and a wooden rose arch stolen from our school premises. Two small windows on an external building were also smashed during one of the occasions. I want to make you aware of these incidents for two reasons. Firstly, to make you aware that this has happened in your local area and encourage you to check your own security in your homes and gardens as a matter of urgency. Secondly, I would like to plea to you to keep an eye out on our school, especially over the holiday period and weekends. If you see or hear something suspicious, please contact the local police.
For your information, the statement overleaf was sent to the local press so that we can make other schools and communities aware. I hope that they can be extra vigilant and prevent the same thing from happening to them. We cannot afford for this to keep happening to us as it is affecting the children and taking directly from them. I truly hope that you can help support us with this matter.
Mr Bryan Griffiths
Statement for the Press
Over the last two weekends, our school has been targeted by thieves. At the end of March they took an entire 8 x 6 shed belonging to the Gardening Club. The gardening club recently started again for the spring term, and their first session was spoilt due to the fact that their shed was missing. Despite all of the gardening tools being left behind, the children involved were left deflated. The fact that these thieves must have been aware that this shed was actively being used by children (due to its contents) is a real worry. Within the space of a week, thieves re-entered the school grounds on Friday evening (31st March) and this time, took a wooden rose arch from the peace garden and vandalised an external building by smashing two of the windows.
When I spoke to some of the older members of the gardening club (Years 5 & 6) about what had happened, this is what they said:
“It’s quite devastating that they would do this to a school. We now do not have anywhere safe to keep our gardening tools. I feel very angry and sad about what happened.”
“I’m angry because me and my dad helped lay the foundations for the shed and now the shed’s gone. We now have nothing and we will have to start again to raise money so that we can have a shed for our tools.”
“It’s really devastating because we tried our best to raise money to buy these things for our school and somewhere nice to store our tools. But now someone has taken these things away, we have nowhere to keep our things. It’s a shame because lots of parents and staff had given up a day or two to come and build these nice garden features for our school.”
The entire experience is shocking. The children, staff, parents and governors of the school have all worked extremely hard to make our school a safe, secure and appealing school. Everyone has worked hard to acquire these items by taking part in fund raising events or having successful grant applications. We do not have the budget to simply go out and replace stolen property and therefore the children are currently going without. To know that someone has been in our school grounds and taken our property on two occasions is devastating. It’s left many of us feeling really angry about the situation and I just hope that someone out there may be able to help catch these thieves and prevent such dreadful things happening to other schools, communities and families. If you do have any information, the police incident number is V045380.
Our parents have been extremely supportive. They, like me, cannot understand why this is happening to our school, to any school! I emailed parents over the weekend to let them know what had happened. Initially, this was to ask them for their support in terms of being extra vigilant and keeping an eye on the school during unsociable hours. However, within minutes of receiving supportive messages from parents, one of the parents set up a ‘Just Giving’ page to raise funds to improve security at our school. Already they have raised a significant amount that will be spent on security. This goes to show what great community spirit we do have here at Ysgol y Llan. If anyone else would like to support us, then the link to the fund raising page is
As well as advice and support from the local police, who will be stepping up patrols of the school, especially over holidays, we will be improving security in the school grounds to prevent this from happening again. I hope this article raises awareness in other communities to prevent similar incidents happening.