A Southampton charity has had its Christmas plans scuppered after a £5,000 bike to take elderly and disabled people out on rides was stolen.

Monty's Bike Hub had decorated its trishaw bike with Christmas decorations so they could get their passengers in the festive spirit.

It had also been used as a more modern sleigh for Father Christmas, who had previously made trips around the city in the vehicle - swapping reindeers for wheels.

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But the team was devastated to learn that the bike, which seats two people at the front and is powered by a cyclist behind, had been stolen from the charity’s community centre on Sullivan Road.

Josh Allen is the charity director and co-founder.

The 33-year-old urged people to contact police: "We found some of the Christmas decorations from the trishaw on the pavement nearby, and some bolt cutters in a bush.

"It’s a real shame that some of these pensioners will now miss out on some outdoor activities over Christmas."

Daily Echo: Josh Allen cycling along side the Trishaw bike

The social enterprise offers free trips for elderly and disabled people on the trishaw, working with Cycling Without Age, and it could be hired out for birthdays, weddings, proms or other special events. 

An offshoot of the Monty's Community Hub, which helps people in Sholing and Thornhill, Monty’s Bike Hub began eight years ago when members of the youth group began fixing bikes.

One of the group's goals was to get young people involved and engaged in cycling and away from crime.

Now, the charity has more than 50 volunteers, 10 of which regularly pedal the trishaw bike - giving non-bike riders and pensioners the joy of feeling the wind on their face and experiencing the outdoors.

Josh said: “Our goal is to make sure that people of all ages stay active, healthy and have the chance to go outdoors.

“We use the trishaw to take elderly residents to Weston Shore and other places in the local community.

Josh said that he fondly remembered pensioners saying things like “this is the first time I have seen the sea in 20 years".

Police are investigating the burglary, which happened between 9pm on Tuesday and 8am on Wednesday.

They are calling for anyone with information, or relevant footage - whether from CCTV, a ring doorbell, a dashcam or a mobile phone - to contact them, quoting 44230508208.