Kind well-wishers have donated more than £3,000 to a children’s charity to replace three stolen specialist tricycles.

Staff at PARC Essex, a charity for children with disabilities and special needs, were devastated when they discovered that the tricycles had been stolen from the outdoor play area days before Christmas.

Jade Burfield, centre manager, feared that the theft of the specialist tricycles would mean that some of the children who visit the centre would miss out on activities as they are unable to ride normal bikes because of difficulties with their co-ordination and balance.

But after hearing of their plight, kind locals and businesses have donated £3,435 to replace the tricycles, which were estimated to be worth £400 each.

Miss Burfield said: “It’s been absolutely amazing, so many people have come forward to help. There have been big and small contributions and some people have even been willing to buy whole bikes.

“Everyone has supported us and we now have enough to replace the stolen trikes and maybe even buy a few more. We will also look at buying some sort of storage unit to keep them in.

“We just want to say a massive thank you to everyone."