Hackney Family Cycling group

Free wheeling: the group loans out bikes at no cost. Photograph: Hackney Family Cycling

The founder of a community cycling project was at the scene when officers stormed a flat to recover her stolen gear.

Ruth-Anna Macqueen, who runs Hackney Family Cycling, appealed for information on Facebook after hundreds of pounds’ worth of equipment was nicked from the group’s garage last month.

The 33-year-old junior doctor’s plea, which included pictures, led to a tip-off from a man who recognised the two-seater trailer.

Macqueen said: “He gave an address in E9 and I attended with the police – and my 5-month-old baby – and found it locked in a communal stairwell. Officers then raided a flat in the building and found some more of the equipment, which I identified.”

The trailer and two rear seats were recovered, but a ladies’ hybrid, a folding bike and two other seats are still missing.

Macqueen said she was “very grateful” to the man whose information led police to the flat, adding: “We are especially glad to get the trailer back. Despite not being worth very much in cash, it has huge value to us as a loan item to enable other families to get cycling.”

The group started a crowdfunder a week after the burglary, and a flood of donations has seen it reach over £700 of its £850 target.

Hackney’s mayor Philip Glanville gave £25 and left a comment which read: “Best of luck with the crowdfunding and I’m working with the council and Cllr Demirci to see what we can do to help.”

Macqueen added: “We still need to replace the other equipment and upgrade the security of our storage unit, but if there is any money left over, we will use it to expand the range of equipment we can offer to families.

“Hopefully, we can also use any extra funds to set up some outreach library sessions in conjunction with the Round Chapel playgroup, which will help more families to get mobile with their kids.”

Hackney Family Cycling, which lets parents use a variety of cycles and attachments for use with children or cargo for up to a month, has been running for a year.

In March, the scheme received money from Transport for London to cover the cost of the garage hire and to pay an assistant.

The group meets near London Fields lido on the first Sunday of every month.

You can donate to Hackney Family Cycling at the GoFundMe page here

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