Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Fitness bootcamp in aid of tradesman who lost tools

Fitness bootcamp in aid of tradesman who lost tools

FITNESS session was held to raise money for a tradesman who had £10,000 worth of tools stolen from his van.

Around 40 people attended the event at Bishopswood recreation ground near Sonning Common on Sunday.

They included family and friends of Matthew Martin who was left unable to work after thieves broke into his van at night while it was parked outside a relative’s house in Luker Avenue, Henley, on September 12.

Mr Martin, 39, of Lea Road, Sonning Common, has received support from his family and people have donated hundreds of pounds so he can begin to replace his tools. Guests were asked to pay £10 to take part in the fitness session, which included a one-mile run, squats, press-ups and a wheelbarrow run.

The event was organised by Mr Martin’s wife Abby, with help from members of the Raise The Bar Bootcamp, which she attends.

Mr Martin said: “I feel that I have actually been exceptionally lucky and the support from the community has been fantastic.

“I felt really down on my luck when the theft happened. It was a real kick in the teeth because I was unable to work.

“I have had to start from scratch and things like this restore lots of faith. It makes you appreciate how important it is to have friends and family around you. Now I am really happy. Everybody has tried so hard to help me out.”

Mr Martin, who is a carpenter, plumber and plasterer, says he has replaced more than half of his tools, some of which had belonged to his grandfather.

The stolen equipment included nail guns, drills, saws, grinders and other power tools but they were not covered by his insurance.

Mr Martin said: “When I saw what had happened I broke down. I was in tears.

“A couple of days later I had to have my dog put down and I felt like I was in such a bad place but then everything started to turn around. The police were not very helpful and that really upset me. I will probably never find out who did it, or where my tools ended up.”

Kate Williams, of the Raise The Bar Bootcamp, said: “My children go to the same school as Abby’s and we heard about what happened, so we wanted to help.

“Abby comes to our bootcamp and it made sense to get her family involved. Her husband works so hard and because he didn’t have insurance he needs to get the money back.

“It was so nice to see people come together and we were actually quite shocked by how many turned out.”

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