Horndean Technology College holds fundraiser for key worker child’s new bike after previous one is stolen
A SCHOOL community has rallied to support the child of a key worker who had his bike stolen while in lessons.
Horndean Technology College pupil, Sam Grant, 14, spent six months saving for his new Carrera Crossfire bike by delivering papers and saving Christmas and birthday money. After finishing school, Sam returned to the bike shed to find his bicycle was no longer there.
Sam said: ‘I was confused at first and went went to check if I’d put it in a different shed. When I realised my bike had been stolen I was really angry and upset.’
Mother, Helen Grant, 42, who works for the NHS, added: ‘Seeing Sam crying was truly heartbreaking. The worst thing was that he kept apologising for what had happened.’
It was the first time Sam had cycled to school. He was using his new bike as his grandfather, who normally collects him, was having to self-isolate due to being in a vulnerable coronavirus group.
Sam said: ‘I can’t believe with what’s happening with coronavirus that people would take advantage and do something like this. I feel disgusted that someone would come into school and take something which isn’t theirs.’
Since the bike was stolen Sam has been having to make the hour-long three-mile walk from his home in Waterlooville rather than what was a 15-minute bicycle ride. After hearing about Sam’s plight, the school was determined to help him find a replacement.
Headteacher Julie Summerfield said: ‘We felt awful about what had happened and that someone would do this. As a staff we decided to set up a GoFundMe page and posted it on our Facebook site.’
After the fundraiser was set up on Saturday it took just six hours to hit the £350 required to replace the bike.
Helen, who works at Elmleigh hospital, added: ‘We are genuinely overwhelmed at the response. The school have been so supportive and the majority of money raised has been donated by Sam’s teachers, including Mrs Summerfield.’
Sam’s physical education teacher, Carl Duke, who is a keen mountain biker, helped Sam choose a new bike from Hargroves Cycles in Chichester and is going to collect and deliver the new Scott model once it arrives in the store.
Mr Dukes said: ‘When we found out what happened to Sam we all wanted to do our bit. I know the owner of the store and Sam has ended up getting a better bike.’
Store manager Adam Spendlove, who is also providing a free labour service to repair NHS workers’ bikes, was only to keen to help.
Adam said: ‘We have taken around 20 per cent off the bike and also provided a free D-lock to hopefully reduce the risk of this happening again.’
The police have confirmed a bike was stolen and have asked for information on the incident.
A spokeswoman said: ‘We were called just before 2.30pm on Monday, March 23 to a report of a bicycle that had been stolen from the bike shed at Horndean Technology College. Anyone with information should phone 101, quoting 44200108151.’