By Chris Marshall-Bell
£5,000 worth of bikes have been stolen from a Surrey cycling school that has taught over 100 youngsters with learning disabilities how to ride.
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Surrey Police believe that the eight bikes were stolen from the On Side project between Wednesday, 20 August and Monday, 25 August.
0n Side, which has been operating for more than 18 months at Earlswood Lakes, is run by the Reigate and Redhill YMCA.
It had been hoped that the group would link with the sports organisation Special Olympics to allow their riders to compete with other people who have learning disabilities.
The scheme works by teaching the youngsters who have physical and learning disabilities how to ride before they hold longer day rides and overnight trips.
The project had four bikes stolen from its YMCA Sovereign Centre last year and John Brunswick, the scheme’s co-ordinator, admitted his sadness after he was told about the latest theft by a member of the public.
He told the Surrey Mirror: “I am absolutely devastated, not just for me but the guys who use them and love using them so much.
“We had bikes which the guys were using to ride and they took all of them (which were stored in the lock-up).
“We need any help we can get, donations, help or support to get this project going again.”
Anyone with information can contact Surrey Police on 101. For people who wish to help the scheme restart, they can speak to Mr Brunswick on 01737 779979.