A MOTHER has praised Basingstoke’s community spirit after tons of donations flooded in to help replace her son's stolen bike.

Michael Gook had his brand-new bike stolen on Tuesday at around 5.30pm after he locked up in the town centre and went to look for prom outfits with his friends.

His parents had saved up for a whole year to buy the bike as a present for Michael’s 16th birthday and it was the first time he had left the bike locked up.

His parents were ‘devastated’ when they found out thieves had cut through the bike lock, but after an old classmate set up a go fund me page the family have seen the good in the community.

Mum Sara, told the Gazette: “It took us nearly a year to save up for the bike because he uses it for transport to school, plus he and his friends meet up at the weekend to go for bike rides.

“Especially during Covid I think it’s been great for his mental health. Because it was his 16th birthday we said we would get him a really decent bike and this was the first time that he had left it locked up since he got it.

“He and his friend headed into town to look at prom outfits, the bike was left for 30 minutes and he went back to find a broken lock.”

After posting a picture to Facebook asking people to keep an eye out for the bike, Sara was shocked when she received a message from an old school friend who had set up a go fund me page in attempt to raise money to replace Michael’s bike.

“A lovely lady called Lucy Archer set up a go fund me page on Facebook yesterday for him and we are overwhelmed with everyone’s generosity as we are not in a financial position to replace his bike.

“I was absolutely amazed, all of us felt teary because we know everyone has suffered financially with Covid.

“The fact the people who don’t even know Michael, have put their hands in their pocket, they don’t understand how much it means to him.

“It’s so nice because everything’s been doom and gloom but it was so selfless of Lucy to do this.”

Sara explained that during the build-up to his GCSE exams, Michael and his friends have been taking revision books on their bike rides and finding a field to sit in together to catch up on schoolwork.

“I know these things happen all the time but when it actually happens to you it brings it home. What makes someone want to take something of someone else’s?

“We felt very stressed and sad when it happened but reading through all the lovely comments made us feel like we aren’t alone, it is just great community spirit.”

To visit the fundraiser page click here.