‘There are some really lovely people in the world’ – Sheffield WWII veteran, 98, gets new mobility scooter thanks to online appeal

A 98-year-old Sheffield World War Two veteran has been given a new mobility scooter after his previous one was stolen by heartless thieves.

Friday, 12th February 2021, 7:50 pm
Updated Friday, 12th February 2021, 8:04 pm

Bernard Bools, who lives at Sunnybank in Broomhall, had his beloved scooter stolen last month from outside the sheltered accommodation flat he has lived in for the last 10 years.

However, a Go Fund Me online fundraising appeal set up by neighbour Caroline Blyth raised enough money to buy him a new one in a matter of hours, and by the time it was closed down a few days later the fund had reached a massive £2,800.

With the money, Bernard bought a new scooter, a CCTV system for outside his home, and a storage shed, chain and alarm,

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Bernard Bools' mobility scooter was stolen from outside his Broomhall flat last month.

But he was also able to afford some other things he needed including an amplified telephone for his flat and a new mop, with the rest going to the SSAF - a charity for soldiers, sailors, airmen and their families.

In WW2, Bernard was one of the last to be called up for national service and served his time in Germany taking on Panther tanks with the North Yorkshire-based Green Howard regiment.

Caroline said that he had been ‘overwhelmed and honoured’ by people’s generosity and wanted to say thank you to everybody who had donated or offered help.

She said: “Bernard is a wonderful and humble man who is still living on his own independently at the age of 98. He really deserves this.

Bernard with one of his war medals.

“Having that mobility scooter is such a massive thing for someone like him. He said losing it was like having his independence stolen.

“It is amazing how people have come together to support him after what happened. There are some terrible people in this world but there are some really lovely people as well.”

In the days after The Star broke the story, Bernard was inundated with offers of help from the Royal British Legion, the SSAF and people from the Sheffield branch of the Green Howards Association.

One former Green Howard, Barry Cawthorne, 81, of Owlthorpe, even lent Bernard his late wife Pauline’s scooter for him to use until a more suitable one could be bought.

Barry Cawthorne lent his late wife's scooter to Bernard until he got a new one.

Caroline added that Bernard wanted to thank Jamie from Sheffield Mobility Solutions and Lee from Sheffield Security Services for their help.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.