YOBS smashed their way into St Chad's Pre-School in Winsford and left a trail of destruction, claiming it was part of a prank challenge recorded on social media.

Vandals prised locks off two sheds and caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to children's play equipment and resources.

Daubing graffiti on the sheds they claimed to have filmed their 'childish' behaviour as part of a dare.

The police are investigating the incident.

The damage, carried out shortly after 11am on Sunday, comes just three months after an arson attack which destroyed a fence and tree in the children's wooden garden on Gladstone Street.

CCTV cameras were installed following the fire to improve security.

Mum-of-three Sheena Partington, chairman of directors at St Chad's Pre-School, said: "It is frustrating and sad that we have to report another spate of mindless vandalism.

"Our sheds have been forcibly broken into and our lovely equipment thrown around.They scribbled obscene pictures and graffiti all over tables which were under an outside canopy.

"Lots of our play equipment and resources have been damaged beyond repair and other items stolen."

Claims that the vandalism was carried out as a prank have infuriated eight staff and three volunteers who provide vital facilities for local children.

"There is no place in modern society for someone to come in and destroy our specialised equipment for five minutes of so-called 'fame'.

"They claim it was a pranking challenge on social media to go out and do something childish and record themselves doing it and then upload it.

"Our charity relies on local donations to keep this valuable service going. It is so frustrating that we are now having to use our precious resources to replace things that were in perfectly good condition.

"As a charity this has a major impact on our resources."

Sheena is appealing to parents to check their children's social media accounts to see if they were involved in this 'mindless attack'.

"I have two additional needs sons and a daughter," said Sheena. "I understand how vital support is to the community. All our work as directors is free, we don't take a salary. We want to give something back to the community."

Residents, families and local businesses rallied round to help after the arson attack in July.

Cheshire Pallets donated a new fence and local people donated money to restore the damage.

Twelve teenagers from UK Citizenship painted the fences.

"It was wonderful to see the community pull together," said Sheena. "Lovely teenagers wanted to make a difference as part of their voluntary course.

"It is sad that a very small minority of youths still carry out anti-social behaviour. Hopefully the people who are responsible for damaging our lovely local setting will be prosecuted."

The pre-school is holding a Halloween event from 3.30pm to 5.30pm on Wednesday, October 23 to raise funds to replace some of the stolen equipment.

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Children will be able to make various things to take home. All are welcome. Admission is £1.50.

Anyone with information about the vandalism can call Cheshire Police on 101.