Hackney Family Cycling has £800 of kit nicked - then gets tip-off that leads cops to flat where it's stashed
PUBLISHED: 14:20 03 May 2017 | UPDATED: 18:33 11 May 2017
The owner of a family cycling group who received £700 in donations after having bikes and gear nicked was there to see police raid a flat to get it back.
Ruth-Anna Macqueen, founder of Hackney Family Cycling, had two bikes, a kids’ trailer and four child seats stolen from storage last week, just days after a Brompton bike was pinched.
She then set up an £800 crowdfunder to replace the equipment, and has raised almost £700 in just four days.
But some of that money can now be used for extra gear, after police got the trailer and a bike seat back yesterday afternoon following a tip-off to Ruth-Anna on Facebook.
The junior doctor, 33, said it was a welcome end to an awful experience.
“We were totally gutted when we saw the theft had happened,” she said. “We’re just a tiny little community project.
“The response has been so brilliant, it’s really positive. I saw the mayor [Phil Glanville] had donated and Hackney Council said they would help us in terms of getting a better garage to keep the stuff.
“We’ve also had a couple of donations of equipment.
“We’ll now use the money for more equipment, upgrading security and other bits and bobs that were taken – fixings and brackets.
“We had more demand for stuff anyway so it will be brilliant to get more and not have a waiting list.”
The cycling group has been running informally for a year with support from Hackney Cycling Campaign and charity Carry Me Bikes. But it launched officially in March when funding was secured from Transport for London (TfL) for an assistant and a bike garage.
On the first Sunday of every month families are invited to meet at London Fields Lido at 10am and trial and borrow free equipment to help them safely carry kids on their bikes.
“I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” said Ruth-Anna. “I always hung onto our kit and lent it to friends and other people who approached me.
“You really have to try before you buy, and shops let you have a test ride to the end of the road but not take it home. I want to make cycling accessible.
“We’re not letting what happened dampen our spirits. Our next event is on Sunday.”
Check out Hackney Family Cycling on Facebook.