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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Harrison rides away with early Christmas present

THE heartache caused by a callous theft was forgotten when a severely disabled youngster received a new bike – thanks to the generosity of Barrow well-wishers.

Harrison Holmes, 11, was left devastated when his specially adapted cycle, costing £650, was stolen earlier this month.

The youngster, who has cerebral palsy and several health problems, shouted “wow!” and jumped for joy when he saw his replacement, which was handed over at the Park Leisure Centre, Greengate Street.

Harrison’s mum, Joanne Holmes, 38, was inundated with offers of support after issuing an appeal in the Evening Mail for the bike’s return.

Within weeks more than £1,200 had been raised for a replacement bike, and there was even enough money in the pot to buyHarrison’s best friend, nine-year-old Tabby Kenny, who also has cerebral palsy and is profoundly deaf, her own bike as well.

Mrs Holmes, from Abbey Road, said: “I phoned the Evening Mail when Harrison’s bike was stolen just so I could get it out there for everyone to keep an eye open for it. Then someone saw it on Facebook and it went crazy. People were just outraged that someone could steal his bike.

“I can’t name everyone for donations as there has been so many, so we would like to say one big thank you for everyone involved in making this happen.

“Tabby and Harrison can now go riding together.”

Tabby’s mum Natasha Kenny, from Furness Park Road, said: “It’s fantastic. Tabby has outgrown her last bike, and we are adapting the house for her needs so all our money is going into that.

“Being able to ride her bike really adds to her social life and it gives her independence.”

So much money has now been donated that a third bike is being ordered for Brady, another local disabled youngster.

Mrs Holmes and her husband Gary have also set up Harrison’s Mobility Trike Fund, which will pay for fun equipment for local children with disabilities.

The charity is on the lookout for local businesses to offer secure housing for bikes outgrown by local children.

Anyone who can help or wants more information about the fund can call Mrs Holmes on 07445 812855, or Lyndsey Johnson on 07540 9537397.

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