'It's given me my life back' - great-grandmother's stolen scooter replaced after appeal in The Star

Christine Launders on her new mobility scooter, with Wayne Bond (left) and Daz Gilbert (pic: Marisa Cashill)
Christine Launders on her new mobility scooter, with Wayne Bond (left) and Daz Gilbert (pic: Marisa Cashill)
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A mobility scooter stolen from a great-grandmother's home in Sheffield has been replaced following an appeal in The Star.

Callous thieves took Christine Launders' trusted vehicle in April, leaving the 78-year-old stranded at her home in High Wincobank.

Her friend Daz Gilbert set up a fundraising campaign to replace the scooter, and when Clark & Partners spotted the story in The Star the mobility firm generously stepped forward to offer her a free replacement.

In return it asked her to donate the £150 already contributed to a charity helping the seriously-ill son of one of its workers, Wayne Bond.

Sitting on her shiny new scooter, Christine - who has severe asthma, arthritis and has undergone a double heart-bypass - said 'it's given me my life back'.

"I'm so grateful to Clark & Partners and to everyone who donated. It's lovely to know the money raised is going to such a good cause," added the former social worker, who has eight children, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

The £150 will now go to the MPS Society, which supports people with mucopolysaccharide (MPS) disease and other rare conditions.

Among those relying on the charity is four-year-old Harley Bond, from Darnall, who has a form of MPS known as Sanfilippo syndrome - a degenerative condition affecting people's speech, coordination and other functions.

Harley's dad Wayne, who is an engineer at Clark & Partners, today visited Christine to present her with the new scooter.

He told how Harley is undergoing tests at Great Ormond Street Hospital, in London, ahead of hopefully beginning pioneering treatment there early next year.

As well as funding research, he said the MPS Society paid for the family's frequent visits to London for medical tests.

"I couldn't believe anyone would be so callous as to steal a mobility scooter, and I'm so glad Clark & Partners could help Christine out," said Wayne, aged 45.

"I'm very grateful to Christine for agreeing to donate the money raised to the MPS Society. It will make such a difference to Harley and others like him."

Daz, who is disabled and was cared for by Christine as a child at the Chancet Wood respite centre, where she worked, set up the JustGiving appeal to replace her stolen scooter.

"I was horrified when I heard her scooter had been stolen but I'm so glad not one but two good things have come out of the appeal to replace it," said the 40-year-old, who lives down the road from her.