HEARTLESS thieves who targeted a school party did not succeed in bringing down children’s spirits after two young sisters generously helped to save the day.

Five-year-old Madison Vause and her sister Olivia (7) donated their pocket money to help Prudhoe West Academy recoup lost funds after the school was targeted by thieves last Wednesday evening.

Police say the culprits had climbed on to the roof of the school, causing damage to guttering and pipes, and forced open a skylight. They then made off with food and drinks which had been bought for the following evening’s disco.

Headteacher Carrie Hodgson said: “The community of Prudhoe has been so supportive, and when Madison told us she wanted to donate her pocket money, it melted my heart. We are super proud of a five-year-old having that pride for her school that she wanted to give us her pocket money when she heard about what happened.”

Outraged members of the community made donations, including ITV donating £100 thanks to Prudhoe resident and former presenter Kenny Toal, meaning members of the Parents Teacher Association were able to dash out to replenish the stock in time for the disco.

After taking the supplies, the thieves then headed to woodland behind the school and littered the area. County councillor Ken Stow said damage was also done to a wall at the rear of the nearby cemetery, which had recently been repaired by volunteers.

“It was a shameful and mindless act that serves no purpose other than to cause inconvenience and unnecessary cost to the school and its neighbours,” he said.

Mrs Hodgson also raised concerns that the offenders could have fallen and sustained serious injuries. “The theft is secondary,” she said.

“The school is probably going to have to pay for the damage caused out of its budget which is already tight, and that money should be going towards our kids’ education.”