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Vandals destroy commemorative bench

By Charlotte Callear | Bloxwich | News | Published:

A cancer survivor who has had a bench dedicated to her is too upset to comment after it was badly vandalised.

Sally Cooper, from Walsall, was eight years in remission in 2014 after being diagnosed with cervical cancer when Cancer Research UK placed a bench in her honour at Bloxwich Park.

This week the bench has been severely damaged with only the back and left side of it still standing whilst the rest is along with a nearby tree which has been torn down.

The bench which reads 'Sally Cooper loved sitting here...and still does thanks to everyone who Stands Up To Cancer', represents a difficult time in her life when she was recovering from cancer at a time when her son Martin was diagnosed with testicular cancer and later her mother Kathleen Vernon, was diagnosed with womb cancer and died in 2010.

Normally, inscribed benches commemorate those who died but Sally lived on to see it which is not as positive as it initially seems after vandals completely destroyed it.

It was placed there as one of a series of benches being put around the UK as part of Cancer Research UK's Stand Up To Cancer Campaign and was one her favourite spot where she would walk her dog and look at the flowers which she could admire when times were hard.

Mark Holden, Head of Clean and Green at Walsall Council said: “I’m appalled to see that a special bench in Bloxwich Park has been so badly vandalised. The bench was commissioned by Cancer Research UK in 2014 and dedicated to local lady Sally Cooper. It is disrespectful that this beautiful bench was so mindlessly targeted in this way.”

The damaged bench has since been collected and the commissioner of the bench which is Cancer Research UK has been contacted to see how they wish to proceed. Anyone with information has been urged to inform the police at 101, along with any other anti-social behaviour in the borough.

Charlotte Callear

By Charlotte Callear
@CCallear_Star

Reporter based at the Express & Star's Wolverhampton head office

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