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Post readers donate bikes and cash after Dagenham disabled cycling club hit by theft

PUBLISHED: 15:00 20 December 2016

Alison Wood, left, was overwhelmed after Janet Houghton donated four bikes to her Dagenham cycling club. Picture: Melissa Page

Alison Wood, left, was overwhelmed after Janet Houghton donated four bikes to her Dagenham cycling club. Picture: Melissa Page

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Readers have rallied round to support a cycling club after the Post reported that three bikes had been stolen.

The Barkingside Riverside Residents Association raised money to help the Dagenham cycling clubThe Barkingside Riverside Residents Association raised money to help the Dagenham cycling club

The thefts of the bikes, worth £450 in total, from Cycle 4 All, which teaches disabled children to ride, happened during a session in Dagenham’s Mayesbrook Park.

But Olli Construction managing director Dean Hollington has made a £450 donation to the group after reading the story in last week’s Post.

“We’re east end people and we look after our own,” he said. “I cycle myself and just the thought of this is terrible.

“It’s Christmas and we wanted to do something special for them, ideally so they can have new bikes in time for Christmas.”

Dean Hollington of Olli Construction has pledged £450 to a Dagenham cycle club after it had £450's worth of bikes stolen Picture: Olli ConstructionDean Hollington of Olli Construction has pledged £450 to a Dagenham cycle club after it had £450's worth of bikes stolen Picture: Olli Construction

The triathlete, who works on building projects in the borough, is one of four donors to come forward after the bikes were stolen on December 6.

Pensioner Janet Houghton, of Birch Gardens, Dagenham, also contacted the Post to arrange a hand-over of four bikes that used to belong to her grandchildren. She says she was appalled by the thefts.

“It really was shocking,” the 64-year-old said. “I think it’s marvellous the work the club does and it’s a shame this happened at this time of year.”

Head coach Alison Wood says the “amazing generosity” has restored her faith in people after the club also received £30 from Barking Reach Residents’ Association.

Chair Yvonne Thomas donated the cash from Friday’s table top sale, with Barking Riverside Ltd offering to match the sum raised.

Yvonne said it was the group’s way of saying thank you to Cycle 4 All, whose coaches have lent their expertise to the association’s free bike-riding and repairing tutorials for children.

“When we saw the story and I knew we were doing an event I thought any money we raise should go to those people who’ve helped us,” she said.

Alison, who has led sessions since April, said she was “totally blown away” by the level of community support.

“It’s amazing people appreciate what we do,” the 43-year-old said. “We’re a non-profit group so we rely on funding to survive.

“The support has been unbelievable and it allows us to keep on providing this service for our community. We really are incredibly grateful.”


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