A loving community gives back

When a young boy had his bike stolen on the Brentwood High Street, Baytree Shopping Centre reached out to its community partners to see how we could get involved in replacing his bike, while also raising awareness over bike safety in the area.

Stanley had kindly let his older brother use the bike to visit the gym, where it was stolen. Despite taking all the necessary precautions to keep the bike safe, including using a bike chain, Stanley’s brother was shocked to find the bike missing on 6th January 2018, and Stanley was understandably upset to find out about the loss.

As a young boy, Stanley relies on his bike to visit friends and his father who live nearby, while his older brother occasionally uses it to visit the gym. Without his bike, travelling to see friends and his dad became more difficult.

On Saturday 31st March, we were proud to be able to surprise Stanley with his new bike. In the lead up to the surprise hand-over, we quietly collaborated with Stanley’s mum, Miss Robertson, to ensure he would be at the centre on the day.

We are extremely grateful to all parties who contributed towards replacing Stanley’s stolen bike. Bowden Funfair donated £130, while Miss Robertson received an anonymous £50 donation towards the purchase of the new bike, and The Baytree Shopping Centre donated the rest of the funds.

Halfords, where the new bike was purchased, offered discounts to a value of £110 on the bike and extras. In addition to the bike, Stanley also received a drink bottle and rack, U-lock, bike locks, helmet, an 8-function tool, and a bike pump.

A representative of Essex Police was also on hand at the bike handover, as well as during the day assisting in raising safety awareness within the community. Safer Brentwood and Neighbour Hood Watch had a joint stand in-centre on the day, providing free goodies to shoppers, including security stickers, and dedicated safety advice on the day.

Stanley was extremely touched and happy to have received this amazing gift. Read his exclusive interview here!

Hi Stanley! We understand you saved up and purchased the bike that was stolen yourself. What did it mean to you when you were able to finally buy it?
I really wanted a bike, as all my friends have bikes and I couldn’t join in with them when they were out on them. When I had finally saved enough money, I was able to buy one of my own. I was so excited to have my own bike!

What did you think when you found out your bike has been stolen?
I was really upset and shocked, as I only had the bike for about 7 weeks and I was very proud to have saved up and bought it for myself.

What were your thoughts when you were presented with your new bike?
I was totally surprised, shocked and really happy! The Baytree Shopping Centre, Bowden Funfair, Halfords and the anonymous donor have all done such a nice thing for me and my family, and we really appreciate the time and effort they spent raising money to replace my bike.

Do you have any comment or statement for Baytree and the other parties who contributed to your new bike?
I would like to thank everyone involved in getting me a new bike, I’m am very grateful to Dan Foley, the Centre Manager from The Baytree Shopping Centre for organizing it all.

What does having a bike mean to you?
It means I can go out and have fun with my friends again and get to places quicker and easier.