Customers buy Hastings boy new bicycle after theft

The Old Town Nisa Local employees with Seamus Mackew, store manager Dhaval Patel and Barney Mackew with his new bicycle
The Old Town Nisa Local employees with Seamus Mackew, store manager Dhaval Patel and Barney Mackew with his new bicycle

The generosity of shop customers shone through when enough money was raised to buy a Hastings boy a new bicycle after his was stolen.

Barney Mackew was ‘over the moon’ when customers at the Old Town Nisa Local raised £109 in a few hours to replace his bike.

The nine-year-old boy accidentally left his bike outside the High Street shop on Monday, February 22, and thought it was gone forever.

But after a special notice and whip round of customers, he and his father Seamus were able to buy a new one on Tuesday (March 1).

“It was great we are overwhelmed as we didn’t expect it at all,” Seamus said.

“It’s nice to know there are a lot of nice people out there, and my son was over the moon with their generosity.”

The Mackews live just up the road from the shop and regularly use it for groceries.

“We went in to get some shopping and Barney was on his bike, we just leant it against the shop, and as we had our hands full we walked home and forgot about the bikes,” Seamus said.

“We went back the next day to get the bike but it was gone.”

Seamus put a notice in the shop, thanks to the sympathy of store manager Dhaval ‘D’ Patel, and on Facebook hoping for the best but not expecting to see the bike again.

The community soon sprang into action and Seamus was called on Saturday, February 27, by D who said customers had raised £109 within three hours to buy Barney a new bicycle.

“I saw the bike and then he came to me asking if he could put the notice in the window,” D said, who has known the Mackews for eight years.

“Normally we don’t allow it but as it was a little kid and for the community, we let him put the advert in the window.

“After that, we saw so many customers offer their money generously.”

The online community also came to Seamus’ aid as one woman offered to buy Barney a lock for his new bike after seeing the good news on Facebook.

Afterwards, Barney wrote another notice for the shop window, thanking everyone who donated towards the bike.

D said it was great how quickly the customers were able to help Barney and was impressed by the community’s generosity.

“We felt very proud, not just for the shop, but the local customers as well who gave their generous share,” he said.

“It bonds everyone.”

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