Recovering cancer patient helping isolated pensioners through lockdown has bicycle stolen

By Will Brook

A recovering cancer patient who has fed scores of isolated pensioners during lockdown is pleading for donations to replace his bike, stolen on one of his visits.

Alex Adams, 51, of Camberwell, had his wheels snatched in Clapham while he was visiting a vulnerable elderly resident last week.

This has happened at a difficult time for Mr Adams, who has recently battled cancer – and had his working hours slashed in lockdown.

He launched a Go Fund Me campaign asking for donations to replace his bike, on which he pedalled to raise £4,500 for cancer and dementia charities.

He had also been using it to reach vulnerable residents across South London.

He said: “To be honest I was gutted. It had a real sentimental value. I was just completely shocked and very, very sad.”

Mr Adams has been volunteering with On Hand since lockdown began, a charity which works with Lambeth council to deliver food and medication, as well as ‘check in and chats’, to Lambeth residents who can be elderly and may have had to isolate for medical reasons.

Mr Adams was visiting one, Walter Pepper, 79, in Clapham, when his bike was stolen.

Mr Adams said: “You build friendships and relationships with these people, and it’s like having a second grandpa because I go over, do his shopping, we sit down and have a chat.

“He tells me what’s going on with his life and you know, he’s so isolated really.

“To be honest, it’s kept me going through the whole of lockdown, and I will continue beyond. It has become a major part of my life, really.”

Mr Adams continues to provide support on foot, but without his bike, is unable to reach as many residents and must therefore prioritise which people he visits, as they are spread across South London.

Before the national lockdown was imposed, Mr Adams was being treated for bladder cancer.

He had his tumours and catheter removed just before the lockdown began.

He said: “It was a case of well, actually I can get on my bike now, so let’s go out and do something.

“I’m actually in what they call remission now. So no evidence of disease at the moment, which is great news.”

Walter said: “I reckon it’s disgusting really, what happened to his bike.

“He does quite a lot, because he does my shopping for me and sometimes takes me out around the common, or wherever I want to go.

“The other week, I had trouble with my phone, and he nipped out and sorted it out for me. He’s a good helper.”

Mr Adams has recently set up a new charity which is part of the global organisation Cycling Without Age, where he hopes to continue to support needy residents on bike.

Pictured top: Alex Adams with Walter Pepper




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One thought on “Recovering cancer patient helping isolated pensioners through lockdown has bicycle stolen

  • 20 October 2020 at 10:37

    We love Alex at onHand! Could not do our work without amazing people like him being local community heros. Delighted that’s he’s getting this coverage and the fund-raiser is going so well. See you back on the bike soon Alex!


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