Michele Huth, Graeme Bartlett and Paul Hammond
Michele Huth, Graeme Bartlett and Paul Hammond Hannah Sbeghen

Gladstone man's faith restored after club gifts new scooter

GLADSTONE man Paul Hammond had his fair share of a bad day last week after his mobility scooter was stolen and taken for a joyride by heartless thieves.

Yesterday his faith was restored in the Gladstone community.

It's all thanks to The Rotary Club of Gladstone Sunrise who have gifted Mr Hammond one of their spare mobility scooters.

Graeme Bartlett from Rotary said Mr Hammond's story struck a chord with the club.

"A few of the ladies in our group heard the news and we realised we had a spare mobility scooter in our shed," Mr Bartlett said.

"We were storing it for a good cause and it looks like we found someone who needs it."

Mr Hammond, a father of two, who relied on his $9000 mobility chair for his daily activities, put out a call to the public to help find it after it was stolen from his home on Wednesday.

The Gladstone man, who lost his ability to walk after a terrifying motorcycle incident two years ago, was distraught to find it damaged beyond repair beside train tracks.

But his prayers have been answered with a perfectly functioning scooter from the Rotary.

"I'm incredibly thankful," Mr Hammond said.

"I was in no way expecting to be given a chair but I am so grateful for the generosity."

Mr Bartlett said he was lucky the club had a spare mobility scooter in the shed.

"It's definitely not the $9000 mobility scooter Paul lost but we thought anything has got to be better than nothing," Mr Bartlett said.

"We offered him the chair for as long as he needed it."

Gladstone's Sunrise Rotary Club has also been working on a bikes to wheelchair project for the past three years to help disadvantaged people in third world countries.

"We are salvaging old bikes to turn into wheelchairs," Mr Bartlett said.

"Already we've built 60 wheelchairs to send across to 20 countries.

"When we heard about Paul we wanted to help someone with a mobility issue in our own town too."

Mr Hammond, a former teacher, said he wasn't angry at the heartless thieves but hoped the teenagers would read his story and get a conscience.

"I hope they see how badly it has impacted me and my family," he said.

"How much of an inconvenience it has made for me.

"I'm lucky to have someone reach out to me and help.

"It's a good outcome from a bad situation and I didn't expect something like this to happen.

"I'm very thankful."