AN ELDERLY man who feared he’d never leave his home again after cruel thieves stole his motability scooter said he is “overwhelmed” to be testing out new wheels donated by one of our kind readers.

As reported, William Taylor, who is 103, lost his “peace of mind and his independence” when the thieves took the £300 scooter from a secure spot outside his Christchurch home.

However, after his story on the front page of the Daily Echo, there was a huge response from readers.

Several of you offered to buy a new scooter outright, while others set up fundraising pages.

But Mr Taylor’s grandson Alan Trayling and granddaughter Julie Shields eventually decided they’d like to take a scooter donated by a local couple who have asked not to be named.

The scooter has been fitted with a cape to keep the rain off when Mr Taylor goes out in bad weather. The cape was donated by Chris Brown who owns Ableworld in Wimborne Road, Kinson.

Mr Trayling said: “The response has just been absolutely amazing.

“We’ve been able to give him a scooter donated to us by a wonderful retired couple, who have asked to remain anonymous.

“Mr Brown from Ableworld also offered to donate a scooter to us, although by that time we’d agreed to accept the scooter grandad now has.

“He did, however, give some accessories for my grandad, which is very much appreciated. When I went to his shop in Kinson, he was so glad to help.”

Mr Trayling said Mr Taylor was “overwhelmed and so grateful” to everyone who came forward with offers to help.

“I’d like to thank everyone on behalf of my grandad and all of the family,” he said.

Mr Taylor lives independently at his flat, with the assistance of a carer and his family. Until he reached his centenary three years ago he was a keen bowler, earning himself the nickname ‘The Oldest Bowler in Town’.

One of those who came forward to offer support is a member of the same club in Knyveton Gardens. He has offered to arrange a donation or day for elderly people who are victims of crime, Mr Trayling said.

Another individual has offered to contribute to the day, while a third has offered to host a separate event in aid of a services charity as Mr Taylor served as an electrician during the war.

Mr Trayling said: “It’s just been fantastic.”