Kickboxing club step up to help youngster after burglary

Charley Hutchinson, eight, has been given some extra pedal power by the members of Fighting Fit Kickboxing club who bought him a new bike.
Charley Hutchinson, eight, has been given some extra pedal power by the members of Fighting Fit Kickboxing club who bought him a new bike.

A Heanor family has thanked the local martial arts club who kicked into gear to help cheer up a broken-hearted boy after his birthday bike was stolen.

Instructors and students at Fighting Fit Kickboxing clubbed together to help Alyson and Pete Hutchinson, of Greyfriars Close, and their eight-year-old son Charley.

Charley's mum Alyson said Russ O'Keefe's gesture set a great example to her children.

Charley's mum Alyson said Russ O'Keefe's gesture set a great example to her children.

They sprang into action after Alyson posted a warning on Facebook that the family’s garden shed had been broken into and three children’s bikes stolen.

Alyson, 40, said: “They were all devastated but particularly, Charley, who had only just had his bike for his birthday three weeks before. He was distraught.

“We reported it to the police but obviously there’s only so much they can do, so I thought I’d let people know they should be careful via the Spotted Heanor page. I didn’t expect anything else of it.”

Among those who read it though was kickboxing instructor Russ O’Keefe.

Alyson said: “He got in touch and said the club would like to buy Charley a new bike, and at first I said no because it was too generous.

“We’d never met, and it just seemed too big an ask, but we kept talking and Russ insisted and so eventually we very gratefully accepted.”

Alyson and Pete took Charley to a training session in Ripley on Tuesday, September 19, where he was presented with a new, upgraded bike and a club T-shirt.

Alyson said: “He was over the moon, especially when they said he was now a member of the club. He’s too young to train but it meant a lot.”

“We were overwhelmed, I can’t thank them enough. It restores your faith in humanity, and it’s nice for our children to know there are more good people than bad out there.”

Russ said: “There’s just so much negativity in the world at the moment. It’s nice to be part of a positive story. Our members just wanted to help.”

Fighting Fit Kickboxing train at Ripley School of Boxing and Martial Arts every Tuesday, 8-10pm, Friday, 6-8pm, and Sunday, 7-9pm.

To find out more, call Russ on 07919 924486.