Children’s charity ‘overwhelmed’ by Sheffield support after thieves strike

Staff and youngsters at  Amys House, Handsworth
Staff and youngsters at Amys House, Handsworth
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A charity for children with special needs that was targeted by thieves today praised the generosity of the people of Sheffield for their ‘overwhelming’ support.

Local residents and businesses have donated hundreds of pounds and offered help to heartbroken staff and volunteers at charity Amy’s House after specially-adapted bikes and scooters were stolen over the Easter weekend.

One woman even popped into the charity and handed over £20.

Charity chief executive Antonia Seward said: “We are extremely grateful and we can’t thank everybody enough.

“It restores your faith in humanity.”

The bikes were taken from a shelter at Ballifield Primary School in Handsworth.

Antonia Seward and Jayne Hurditch, of Amy's House, Handsworth have had items stolen from their site. Picture: Andrew Roe

Antonia Seward and Jayne Hurditch, of Amy's House, Handsworth have had items stolen from their site. Picture: Andrew Roe

Some of them were adapted for youngsters with special needs, and all were used by the many children the charity works with.

Four tricycles, three bicycles and several scooters were taken. One of the scooters has already been found in a nearby playing field and police have asked people to report any possible sightings.

Antonia said recycling company Viridor had sent a cheque for almost £600, while Handsworth mobility firm Clark and Partners has decided to raffle a £600 mobility scooter.

Members of the public have donated more than £500 on an online page to help pay for new bikes, while staff at Rother Valley Country Park have offered to lend the charity some of its disability bikes and trikes until they can be properly replaced.

Antonia said: “There has been people donating online and a lady came in and gave us £20. It has just been amazing, everybody seems to have been rallying round and helping us.

“We have been on the phone 24/7, it is brilliant and shows everybody does care.

“When it first happened we had word somebody had dumped them around Handsworth and people were out looking for the bikes.

“We were all just so upset it has happened in the school holidays. To think we could have some more bikes by the next holidays is just incredible.”

Jayne Hurditch, who set up Amy’s House with her mother and father Meriel and Maurice Littlewood in 2003, said the charity has had a lot of support from the Handsworth community and suspects the thieves were a group of youths who had not thought about the impact of their actions.

But she added the response from the local community to the theft has been wonderful.

“There has been such an outpouring of kindness from the people of Handsworth and further afield. We can’t thank everybody enough,” she said.

If you would like to lend a hand, visit the charity’s page at www.gofundme.com.