When mum-of-two Heidi Weaver heard there was a load of vile racist graffiti on slides at her local park she “did what she had to do” and cleaned the whole lot off – even though it was Mother’s Day.
Community-spirited Heidi spent her Mother’s Day on Sunday down at the public park in Sandbach, Cheshire, scrubbing off the slides to rid them of the damage left by yobs. She leapt into action after hearing from a friend that upset kids were reading the shocking messages and symbols that had been left there by vandals.
Heidi, from Sandbach, said: “A friend phoned me up and said ‘Heidi there’s graffiti all over the slides, my daughter who is 6 is reading it’. She said there were other children reading it as well.
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“I felt I needed to do what I had to do really and get it cleaned up.” Heidi runs her own cleaning company and so took her cleaning equipment and her two kids down to the park to get to work on Sunday.
She said: “Firstly I had to try and establish what kind of pen or marker had been used. It was a paint pen and it was quite stubborn, but due to it being a children’s slide I had to mindful of who uses it so I just used a scourer and soapy water, nothing harsher than that to clean it off.
“When I was at the park other parents came over and said they couldn’t believe the messages on there. And they also couldn’t believe I’d come down to clean it, but I just felt it needed sorting for the community. “
The graffiti had already been reported to local police, and as Heidi works closely with the Sandbach Partnership community group was able to check she was OK to clean off the damage first. Heidi says she was shocked by the racist imagery used in the graffiti and could not stand to think of any more kids seeing it.
Which is why she headed to the town’s big public park to clean it all off as soon as she could – even though it was Mothering Sunday.
She said: “When I saw the symbols, that was what made me really angry. I thought what is going on here?
“What on earth is bringing kids to put that symbol on there? I was young once, and yes we used to sit on the park, I got that, but we didn’t vandalize anything.
“Kids are kids, they don’t think – but hopefully after this they won’t do it again.”
Heidi, 46, is mum to a six-year-old and seven-year-old, but made sure they didn’t see the graffiti while she cleaned the worst of it off. And then they helped her finish off the job on the sunny Sunday before heading home for the rest of Mother’s Day.
She said: “My kids are pretty savvy about these things, they know about graffiti, that it can be used properly as an art, or on the other side how it was done at the park. They actually helped me clean it off.
“I asked them to go and play until I got rid of the offensive symbols because of course they can read. I didn’t want them reading some of the things that were said there. I did it for the good of the local community. “
After she posted pictures of the clean-up on Facebook, the post soon racked up the likes with people thanking her for swift action.
“It’s been so lovely we’ve had 800 messages on Facebook. People were saying well done, it was just lovely.
“I was overwhelmed by the support we got really, it’s absolutely amazing. People are so happy that we were helping out. That’s what we’re doing it for, to help.”
Heidi has run her cleaning company for the past four years, and now employs 21 people in the Sandbach area. She said she and her team de ella pride themselves on going above and beyond-and also clean Sandbach Town Park’s public toilets for free as well.
Heidi said: “Every time I took my kids to the toilets, it was really smelly, they were public toilets at the end of the day. So now we go in every single morning in the week and make sure they’re clean for everybody .
“We get a lot of support from the local community so we do it voluntarily. Why not give back if you can?”
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