AFTER a special needs school was targeted by vandals, local freemasons have donated cash to support the school.

The three masonic lodges in Hexham – Hexham Priory, Albert Edward and Hextoldesham – donated a total of £500 to Hexham Priory School on hearing that damage had been caused to the school’s minibuses. The amount was trebled when a member of Hexham Priory Lodge donated a further £1,000.

Charles Dickie OBE, the lodge’s honorary treasurer, said he was outraged by the latest spate of vandalism.

“One of the adages of the freemasons is to have concern for local communities,” he said.

“Hearing the school had been hit by vandals again really got up our noses, so we wanted cover the cost of the repair to the minibuses and show that the local community appreciated all that the school does for its pupils.”

Priory School headteacher, Liz Davison, received the cheque from the freemasons last week.

She said: “It’s wonderful to get this donation.

“It’s really vital to us to keep the vehicles on the road for students to access everything, particularly our residential visits, which are a big part of what we do as it develops independence and life skills, and makes them feel part of their community. We do rely on donations so we are extremely grateful.”