Fun day brings laughter back to park following dog attack

There was an excellent turnout for the family fun day in the play park next to Burns Avenue in Blyth.
There was an excellent turnout for the family fun day in the play park next to Burns Avenue in Blyth.

A community event brought some fun back to the scene of a dog attack in Blyth that left 11 children injured, with many requiring hospital treatment.

It was organised by Debbie and Neil Wilkinson to bring people together and give the children something to look forward to and enjoy following their terrible ordeal in the play park next to Burns Avenue in May.

The local organisations that came along and showed their support included Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, which brought along a fire engine, Northumberland County Council, the RNLI, Northumbria Police, a group of cadets and a local veterinary practice.

There was music from Koast Radio, dancing, face painting and a bouncy castle. Debbie gave out certificates of bravery and children let off balloons in celebration.

The family fun day also helped to raise £500, which will be put towards the purchase of a new bench for the park area.

Neil said: “I’d like to thank everyone who came along and supported us on the day, both local residents and local organisations. It was a real community effort.

“We had a fantastic turnout, a brilliant day and for once the weather was on our side.”

The dog attack sent shockwaves through the community and such was its severity that it hit the national headlines. Neil, who lives nearby, raced to rescue children from the Staffordshire bull terrier on that evening.

The county council’s cabinet member for housing, Coun Allan Hepple, said: “I know that some of the children are still traumatised by the dog attack and I hope this event will put some happy memories back into the park and encourage children to continue to play in it.

“Later in the summer, our housing team will be providing some more support for local residents on the estate with a litter pick and a dog chipping event.”