A target to raise £8,000 for a Cheam community centre project which was devastated by an alleged arson attack has been reached.

The fire ripped through Yourspace.sutton as emergency services were called to reports of the blaze at around 2am on January 12.

The building was “totally destroyed” as a result, alongside an office, volunteer room and outside-in tearoom.

Kevin Plicio, who runs Yourspace.sutton, said he had been in “no man’s land” in the days following the destructive fire.

But since then more than £8,000 has been raised to help restore the project, with most of it coming from 281 supporters through a JustGiving page.

READ: From earlier: Yourspace.sutton manager reveals heartbreak after 'arson attack'

Your Local Guardian:

Yourspace.sutton after the fire

A total of £7,085 was raised through online donations, while an additional £800 from a ‘Cheam Scream’ event and other sources of funding helped reach the original target.

Though it’s still not quite enough to “bring everything back”, the money will go towards a tearoom, office, volunteer room and other spaces which were burned down.

In a Facebook post published on March 1, Mr Plicio said: “It's been one never ending challenge in recent weeks and they keep coming, but the biggest challenge is to still enjoy all of the many seasonal things that keep on happening regardless of any challenges.

“Not missing out on the simple pleasures in life and the magic that each of them brings is the secret to winning, so you just have to try to make sure these things are not missed out because of just unfortunate circumstances.

“There will always be endless hurdles before us and times when we are just in the middle of so many things going on, where we will feel like we are just too busy, but you must never let that load get in the way of all the things that feed you. 

“Even if it means you must take on even more in a timeframe that's non-existent, you'll be glad you went the extra mile for the things you had long been waiting for or planning.”

READ: How a much-loved Cheam community project is getting back on its feet

Your Local Guardian:

Yourspace.sutton manager Kevin Plicio

The London Fire Brigade said they sent four fire engines and around 25 firefighters to the scene of the fire on January 12.

A single-storey timber building was destroyed by the fire, alongside a small part of another single-storey timber building which was damaged.

There were no reports of any injuries.

The brigade was called shortly after 2am and the blaze was deemed under control at 3.30am, with crews from New Malden, Sutton and Wimbledon at the scene.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said they were called at around 2.30am to reports of a fire and officers attended alongside the brigade.

She added the force is investigating the incident alongside the brigade, and the cause of the fire has not yet been established, but Mr Plicio believes the incident was an arson attack.