Tool theft is something that devastates every tradesperson’s life. The cost of replacing your tools and getting back on your feet, it is soul destroying! But, for one tradesman, his tools being stolen was just the start of a chain of events that have completely changed the lives of him and his family.
Lee Newman, a builder from Cheltenham, is, ultimately just like any other hardworking tradesman. Going to work each and every day, his goal is to provide a better life for himself and his family. However, unfortunately, Lee has received more than his fair share of bad luck recently. And now, both Lee and his family are in desperate need of some support.
Back in February 2017, Lee was looking forward to spring and the rise in potential customers wanting work done on their homes. A busy time for any tradesman, right?
Well, unfortunately for Lee, this was not the case. Instead, he woke to find that during the night, his van had been broken into. With £5,000 of tools stolen, this could not have come at a worse time for the self-employed tradesman.
Just after Christmas and battling to work through the elements of the winter months, Lee now had to replace all of his tools himself. As, according to the insurance company, his claim was “invalid” because the van had been left “unattended”.
But, Lee was faced with no other option, he needed to replace his tools in order to work. So, that’s what he did. Working hard throughout the summer to cover the cost of his tools, he also increased the security of his van. In the hope to prevent something like this from happening again, Lee leased a new van with added extra security.
However, unfortunately, Lee was dealt another devastating blow. One that would change his life forever.
In August 2017, he found a lump on his neck. It was cancer. Diagnosed with Lymphoma, cancer of the white blood cells, doctors told Lee that whilst his illness was treatable, it was ultimately incurable.
Trying to remain positive though, Lee returned to work. Distracting himself, his work gave him a reason to get out of bed in the morning. With weekly Chemotherapy treatment, Lee had suffered more than his fair share of bad luck.
However, this was not the end, Instead, more tragedy came to face Lee and his family. And, on the 4th December this year, Lee fell victim to tool theft once again.
Despite all of his preventative measures and added security, it is believed a copy key was used to access the van. With no damage caused to the vehicle, the thieves were able to make off with thousands of pounds worth of tools once again.
Lee’s stepson Oli describes: “While this story isn’t a plea for pity, it is a story that in a heartbeat could just happen to any of us.”
“This is a story of a man’s plea to hopefully help raise awareness for others to consider and act upon.”
“Be it by securing your own tools better than you currently do, or just by encouraging you to be more vigilant.”
“Look out for suspicious behaviour, and for one another as fellow tradesmen and women.”
“Lee faces the task of replacing his tools again in order to get back to work and complete jobs he’s started before Christmas.”
“So, we have set up a just giving page.”
“Not as a charity bid, but to simply help a man who is frankly right out of luck.”
If you think you can help Lee and his family out, head over to www.justgiving.com now.