A children's play area has been torched by vandals in Twickenham.
The police are working with English Heritage to uncover the criminals who destroyed Marble Hill Playcentres One O’Clock Club’s outdoor space and Wendy House, on Richmond Road, in the early hours of Saturday (May 13).
The voluntary-run indoor play facilities and building escaped the arson attack but remained closed on Monday May 15 so staff could work on the damaged caused to the club’s outdoor area.
Kevin Stinton, manager of Marble Hill Playcentres, said: “We are all very upset about the damage caused over the weekend.”
"However, through the dedication and hard work of our staff we have been able to quickly reopen.”
Local residents and visitors took to Facebook to post comments about how horrified they are by the incident, share personal stories of time spent there and ask if there is anything they can do to help.
“We have been touched by the offers of support from the local community in light of this incident and thank them all for their kind words,” the playcentres' manager added.
The centre is run by a group of local parents who set up the drop-in play facility for babies and children up-to five-years-old to enjoy a variety of activities whilst parents enjoyed a sociable environment.
Kay Lint, property manager of Marble Hill house from the English Heritage, said: “This was a shocking incident as Marble Hill playcentres is a much-loved part of the community and the services it provides.
“As one of our key partners, English Heritage is working closely with Marble Hill playcentres and its staff to support them during this time.”
The centre also offers children from five to 15 years-old the chance to play on the only open-access adventure playground in the borough - which was luckily unharmed by the fire.
Marble Hill is a not-for-profit organisation which can also cater for children with impaired mobility and give them access to play alongside peers via specially designed birds nest swings and a wheelchair accessible walkway.