Community whip-round buys replacement bike for boy, 13, in time for Christmas

L-R: Samm Cleaver, who donated a bike lock, Charlie Gambleton, Rachel Parrot and Susan Hastings

L-R: Samm Cleaver, who donated a bike lock, Charlie Gambleton, Rachel Parrott and Susan Hastings - Credit: Kayleigh Foran

The Christmas spirit was alive and well in Harold Hill this week as generous members of the community pitched in to replace a 13-year-old boy’s bicycle. 

Last Thursday, December 23, Charlie Gambleton’s Carrera bike disappeared, presumed stolen, outside Gallows Corner KFC. 

Mum Kayleigh Foran said Charlie was “absolutely hysterical” at the loss of the bike, which had been bought less than a month earlier for his birthday. 

After bystander Susan Hastings posted about the boy’s plight on the Harold Hill Community Page on Facebook, people came forward to save Charlie’s Christmas. 

A GoFundMe was set up by local Rachel Parrott, and within an hour they had raised more than £500. 

On Christmas Eve, with the GoFundMe cash still being processed, Susan paid for the bike out of her own pocket to make sure Charlie had it in time for December 25. 

“Doesn’t matter how many times I say it, thank you just isn’t enough,” said Kayleigh.