On Wednesday, somebody sent us a picture of a Facebook post about a kid whose bike had been stolen with a humorous typo in it, and in our usual fashion we decided to share it. Unfortunately, it later emerged that the post was about a 10-year-old boy called Alfie Hayes from Canvey, and so we decided to put things right. 

Call it the festive spirit, a publicity stunt or good ol’ fashioned guilt, but as soon as we found out what had happened we appealed for the kid’s family to get in touch with us so that we could replace the bike. 

We’re delighted to say that his mum and grandma got in touch, and we presented Alfie with some new wheels earlier today. 

His mum Kelly McCarthy said: ‘He used all of his birthday money in August to buy it, and yesterday he locked it up outside the Oakland Surgery on Canvey while we popped inside.’

‘By the time we got back, someone had cut through the lock and taken it. Alfie was devastated as that bike meant everything to him and we are always so careful to secure it when we are out and about or at home.’

‘It was a horrible thing to happen so close to Christmas, but we are delighted to have another one sorted out for him.’

Naturally we made sure that we got him a decent lock as well. Unless any more light-fingered cycling enthusiasts come along with an angle grinder and Geoff Capes in tow, this one should do the trick!

Thanks to everyone who made contact when we appealed to find Alfie and his family! Also, special thanks to everyone who helped convince the family that our offer wasn’t yet another SNN spoof – that would have been pretty rotten …