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Pensioner robbed of his independence gets new mobility scooter after online campaign

Published: 15 Feb 2014 12:300 comments

A PENSIONER whose mobility scooter was stolen fought back tears as residents joined forces to help buy him a new one.

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Alan Bennett, 84, who lives at Jubilee Court in Bracknell town centre, was horrified to discover his £800 mobility scooter missing a fortnight ago – effectively leaving him housebound.

Thieves broke into a storage area at the block of flats, stealing Mr Bennett’s vehicle and another, while also vandalising several other scooters by ripping out the electrical wiring.

In the meantime, Mr Bennett had to use a walking frame to get around and being without a scooter meant he was restricted to staying in the flats and had to rely on his family to do his shopping for him.”

However, after the News appealed to members of Facebook community group People Help the People, enough cash was donated within hours to afford a second-hand one that a member had kindly offered to him for a knock-down price of £75.

And that evening, Mr Bennett was presented with his replacement scooter by Angela Haynes-Ingram, its previous owner, and two of the four people who donated the money for it. Mr Bennett said: “I cannot believe it, I feel like crying. I want to say a big thank you to the Bracknell News and everyone who has donated and helped me out. My new scooter is wonderful and I am really pleased with it. I have got my freedom back.”

His daughter Debbie

Marshall, from Wildrid-ings, added: “This has made his year. We are indebted to the community for this. We just want to say a big thank you to everyone who has donated and thank you to Angela for donating the scooter to him.”

Miss Haynes-Ingram, from Ascot, said it had been a “privilege” to donate the scooter to Mr Bennett, after realising how isolated he had become without having one.

“After meeting Alan and having the privilege to speak to him I realised how his week had been a very isolated one,” she said.

“I realised that he was one very grateful man and he showed his emotional side by crying with happiness when I presented him with the scooter. All the other donators and me also spoke of the joy of helping one amazing elderly gentleman.”

Police are still looking for the missing scooters and the thieves.

Anyone with information should call officers on 101, quoting reference number 4397517/14.

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