Schoolboy thanks North-east community for support after fire destroys home

A little boy whose family home was gutted by a fire has had his first ever karate lesson – thanks to community support.

Five-year-old Logan Bannerman saved pocket money to pay for the lessons but his pennies were destroyed in the blaze which ripped through his home in St Peter Street, Peterhead, causing extensive damage.

His parents Catrina and Lee posted on social media how Logan’s dream of starting martial arts classes had been dashed due to the blaze – and friends, family and complete strangers rallied round to raise the money so he could take part.

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The Peterhead Central Primary School pupil has now had his first lesson – and loved it so much he plans to go back again tonight.

Catrina, 28, said: “Logan absolutely loved it – he had an absolute blast.

“When he arrived, he was a little bit nervous, but he knew a couple of the boys from school and that helped a lot.

“Once he started, he really got into it and I think he’ll be wanting to come back a lot now.”

The Shi-Gaku-Kan Shotokan karate sessions are held three times a week at Peterhead Community Centre in Balmoor Terrace. They are run by Mark and Libby Donaghy.

Mark, who is a sensei (martial arts teacher), said: “It was terrible what happened to Logan’s house.

“Catrina got in touch to say Logan wasn’t going to be able to make it and she was obviously disappointed because we have a long waiting list and she thought Logan would lose his place.

“But we don’t give up places because it wouldn’t be fair, so we found a way round it.

“We have agreed to fund Logan’s uniform, which is about £40, and to fund his fees, so it’s about £65 altogether.

“We were delighted to be able to help Logan and his family in this small way.”

Catrina said well-wishers have now donated £135 to the family since the fire, some of which will go towards future club fees plus toys and clothes for the children.

The fire happened late on August 31 when a tumble dryer in the kitchen burst into flames.

It set the kitchen alight before spreading to every room of the three-bedroom property. Firefighters spent more than two hours battling the blaze.

Catrina, Lee, 33, Logan and his sister Sophie, 2, have since moved into a temporary home.

They have been told it could be four months before repairs can be carried out.

She said: “We’ve lost everything in the fire and it will take a long time for us to get things sorted out, but materials can be replaced – I’m just glad we all got out safely.”