People behind a community garden in Carnoustie destroyed by a deliberate fire have been overwhelmed by local support.
It’s less than a week since a teenage girl was charged with setting fire to the Food is Free community garden in the town’s Panda Lane, but well-wishers have already raised £6,000 to help rebuild it.
Others have also turned up to help clear away the debris while some have stopped by with chocolates, biscuits, and cash donations.
Organisers were devastated when five years’ worth of work was burnt to the ground in a fierce fire in the garden’s polytunnel on Wednesday.
Immediately afterwards, former Carnoustie man, Matt Rex Christie, 30, who now lives in Monifieth, set up a fundraising page.
Within hours it had raised almost £1,000 and when Matt closed the page at the weekend the figure was at over £4,000. Further donations have taken the total figure for the Carnoustie garden fire fundraising to almost £6,000.
‘I was very upset’
Matt said: “I grew up in Carnoustie and I knew the good work the garden did and the pleasure it brought to so many people.
“A well as providing free food for those in the community who needed it the garden brought great joy and I was very upset to see it had been burned down.
“It’s been amazing to see how the community has rallied round to help.”
Laura Tierney, one of the project’s main organisers said: “We are overwhelmed and over the moon at the support we have received.
“As well as restoring the polytunnel and the garden this might now allow us to provide disabled access – this is something we have wanted to do for a long time and we feel this would be a great way to use the money donated.”
‘It made us feel sick’
Laura said: “The fire was dreadful, just horrible and the fact that it was started deliberately made us feel sick.
“However, the way others have responded has completely restored out faith in human nature.
“So many people have been so kind with offers of help and support. I even had one wee boy come along to the garden for a box of chocolates for us. Others have brought biscuits and people have even been putting money through our doors.”
Laura said that the fire damage had already been cleared away thanks to volunteers and work would soon begin on restoring the garden.
Meanwhile, Police Scotland revealed a teenager has been charged with deliberately setting fire to the garden.
GIRL CHARGED WITH CARNOUSTIE FIRE-RAISING
A 16 year old girl has been identified and charged in connection with a fire-raising at the Food Is Free community garden in Panda Lane, Carnoustie, on Wednesday 2nd. She is to be reported to the Youth Justice Assessor in due course. pic.twitter.com/cDwUIjpJ4A
— Angus Police (@AngusPolice) December 4, 2020
A spokesman said: “A 16 -year-old girl has been identified and charged in connection with a fire-raising at the Food Is Free community garden in Panda Lane, Carnoustie, on Wednesday December 2.
“She is to be reported to the Youth Justice Assessor in due course.”