Community comes together to raise over £1k for boy who had bike vandalised and stolen in Norfolk

Kind-hearted Central England Co-operative customers and colleagues have presented a youngster with a one-in-a-billion chromosome condition with over £1,000 after his specialised bike was stolen and vandalised.

The team at Mulbarton Food Store, in Cuckoofield Lane, decided to raise money to help repair or replace Tobias Hill’s bike after learning that his bike had been taken and damaged last year.

The store organised a series of fund-raising events and, with the help of the local community, managed to raise over £1,000 towards a new custom-made bike.

Tobias and his father Chris visited the store this weekend to accept the donation.

Chris said: “I am quite overwhelmed with the way the local community has rallied around to help us get back cycling after the previous bike was damaged.  

“The funds will help us get a more suitable specialised tandem with electric assist for going uphill.  

“The previous bike was very heavy and, with the weights of two people, it meant that even the smallest incline was very hard work.  

“When the vandalism was first announced I did not want any help but, with so many people asking to help, I realised that it was all about Tobias' disabilities and the kindness of others.

“It is encouraging to know that many people do care about the local community.  

“I would like to thank them all and staff at Mulbarton Central England Co-op, as well as several others in Norwich and other villages who have also contributed.”

Tobias lives with a chromosome condition, which has only recently been discovered, and is thought to affect just one in every billion people.

There are only seven people in the world known to have the condition, which affects his development.

Store manager Jamie Twell said: “Everyone at Mulbarton Food Store was shocked to hear what had happened to Tobias and his bike.

“We take our role as a retailer in the heart of the community seriously and knew straight away that we wanted to help out.

“Tobias loves his bike and it is the only way that he can get out and about with his father Chris.

“We held a special week of events which were supported brilliantly by the local community and raised over £1,000 towards getting Tobias a brand new bike.”


Notes to editors


Picture caption: Tobias and his father Chris were handed over £1,000 towards a new custom-made bike thanks to kind-hearted customers and colleagues at Central England Co-op’s Food Store, in Mulbarton.


About Central England Co-operative


Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 


It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, travel shops, and property investment.


Central England Co-operative has over 400 trading outlets across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.  The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2018.


Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.


Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing or visiting


For more information visit, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook:


Rob Smyth / Heather Clapton at Central England Co-operative on 01543 414140


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