Man helping Calderdale's vulnerable during Covid-19 crisis has tools stolen
A man volunteering to help others in Hebden Bridge has had £1,000 worth of tools stolen from his van.
Lewis Dear, 28, has given up his full-time job as a music festival handyman to help others in his home town with emergency deliveries during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Mr Dear, who said he plans to start up a carpentry business, has been left “angry and devastated” after volunteering with Hebden Bridge charity Old People’s Welfare Committee, only to discover his van had been broken into, on Windsor Road, during last weekend where he had his power tools taken.
He said: “While the music festivals have been cancelled I thought I’d put myself to better use by the vulnerable.
“I’ve been helping elderly people with food drop-offs.
“I took some time out during Friday evening and the next day I found my van had been broken into with about £1,000 worth of my power tools stolen.
“It does make me angry because I believe in karma and I’m trying to do some good, but this has happened and it’s like a punch to the stomach.
“It’s devastating but I’m thankful because there were sentimental tools which weren’t taken - such as tools given to me by my grandad.”
As well as home deliveries, Mr Dear has been visiting elderly homeowners helping them with their guttering, while keeping within government social-distancing rules.
Charity spokeswoman, Janet Lymer said: “Lewis is one of our fantastic volunteers and the group he takes care of includes a gent in his 80s a lovely lady who has a fractured ankle and is partially sighted.
"Her husband passed away 2018. She thinks he is wonderful.”
His friend Hana Osborne has now set up a Gofundme page in response to the theft.
She said: “It was a substantial amount of tools and we’d like to help replace what he could.
“If anyone could donate whatever they can to someone who needlessly lost all their tools that he needs to make a living then karma can be restored.”
West Yorkshire Police confirmed they were called on the morning of April 8 after reports of theft regarding power tools and a saw overnight between April 3 and April 5 from a van parked in the Windsor Road area of Hebden Bridge.
Anyone who has information or who is offered power tools for sale in suspicious circumstances should call the Valleys NPT on 101 or make a report online at: www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101livechat referencing crime number: 13200174744
The page can be found at: Replace Lewis' Stolen Tools