Father's plans for community hub after daughter's terrifying attack

12-year-old Talia Lacey and her dad Ben Lacey from Thetford

Ben Lacey wants to start a community hub after his 12-year-old daughter was attacked. - Credit: Ben Lacey

A father wants to start a new community hub after his 12-year-old daughter was attacked in Thetford.

Ben Lacey's daughter Talia was attacked on August 29 in Mingay Road, and a video of the assault was posted on social media.

The Thetford community rallied around the young girl, with a local hairdresser giving her a free appointment after chunks of her hair were pulled out in the attack.

Now Mr Lacey wants to start a community hub for children of Thetford, with a focus on anti-bullying.

The 36-year-old said: "In Thetford, there’s community centres for different areas which I think promotes separation between groups of kids.

"This would be a central hub where any one is welcome to help prevent that, somewhere people can come together as a community.

"My long term goal for the hub would be to become a registered charity and to take over a space like the old Argos building.

Talia Lacey's bruised face after her attack in Thetford

Talia Lacey suffered bruising to her face following the attack that happened in Mingay Road, Thetford. - Credit: Ben Lacey

"I've had loads of help from people who support the idea and I even have a meeting set up with someone from Abbey Neighbourhood Centre."

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Even after the community support his daughter received, Mr Lacey found that his daughter was still being subjected to bullying.

He added: "I had to take down to go-fund-me after someone was putting negative comments all over it.

"People were being very generous but I didn’t want to but my daughter to be put through that after the initial incident.

"It was easier to just take it down and refund everyone's donations."

Chunks of Talia Lacey's hair in her dad's hand after her attack in Thetford

Chunks of hair that were pulled out of Talia's head during the attack. - Credit: Ben Lacey

Terry Jermy, a Breckland councillor for Thetford Burrell, said: "This is something I would very much welcome in Thetford.

"Any support we can give to those who have been victims of bullying, and anything we can do to reduce bullying locally is to be welcome. 

"It’s really important that those who experience bullying speak out and let the right people know so we can build up an accurate picture of bullying in Thetford.

"Statistics suggest it isn’t common but people’s experiences seem to suggest that it is more common than we think."