A heartless criminal has set fire to a van used for much-loved roller discos across Redditch.

Owners of Rollers Roller Disco, Paula and Chris Nash, were heartbroken to find their van had been set ablaze on Thursday night (October 26) in an act police are treating as arson.

Officers were called to the scene at Ombersley Close by Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service at around 12.30am on Friday, October 27 to the van fire which also affected a nearby car.

The couple use the van to carry skates and equipment to the roller disco events they host for children, teenagers and the wider community at Tudor Grange Academy each week. They also offer mobile services including for parties.

Ms Nash, aged 42, said: “We parked it in a different place than normal and got some toilet paper out for a game of dress the mummy we were planning for the disco. Nothing seemed unusual, so we went to bed.

“Suddenly our neighbour came hammering on the door to tell us our van was on fire. It was like a scene from a movie and everyone was screaming.

“I just can’t believe the severity of what happened or how someone could take such an important community asset away from innocent children.”

The couple had no choice but to pay £800 for a 10-day rental van to keep the discos going, but after struggling with the costs, they were encouraged to set up a GoFundMe.

The fund is no longer accepting donations after friends and family generously rallied around to find them another van following the terrible abuse the pair received about the incident.

Redditch Advertiser: The van was left completely burnt out after the incident The van was left completely burnt out after the incident (Image: Rollers Roller Disco)

Ms Nash said: “The cost of hiring another van for 10 days was just impossible. Like many people, we are struggling at the moment, but we didn’t want to let people down.

“We had customers contact us saying it would be such a shame not to have the discos anymore and their children were really upset. So, although we didn’t want to set up a fundraiser, we had no choice.

“It is so upsetting to see people speculate online about what happened and for people not to see us as the victims, so we thought it was best to close the GoFundMe. Thankfully, we have had amazing help from our family and friends and been able to sort a van.”

The generosity has meant the pair can now re-launch the roller disco this Friday (November 10) with Ms Nash emphasising its importance to the community.

She said: “It isn’t just about children skating. Parents tell me how it gets the kids off the Xbox and it brings people together. We are one big family.

“From three-year-olds to teenagers and over-60s, we have such a range of people who come as it’s a really lovely and inclusive atmosphere where everyone can feel safe and be themselves.

“We fear something like this could happen again, but we’re so grateful that we can continue offering such a vital service to Redditch.” 

Rollers Roller Disco takes place every Friday at Tudor Grange Academy from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

Tickets cost £6 and everyone is welcome with the team working hard to offer sensory sessions in the near future.

To find out more visit www.rollersrollerdiscoredditch.co.uk