Correspondent helps reunite stolen minibus with its owner

A MINIBUS that was helping make sure a foodbank had enough stock to cope during the Covid-19 crisis has been reunited with its owner after it was stolen – thanks to the Correspondent.

Stuart Gosling, pastor of New Life Church, was left devastated to find the vehicle had been taken from the end of his street on Easter Monday morning.But The Correspondent got involved with the hunt to find it and just hours later, a keen-eyed reader spotted it and it was back with him.

The bus will still be off the road while it is repaired after it was found to have been ‘hotwired’ to get it started.

However, Mr Gosling’s wife Kirsty was just delighted it is back in their possession.

“I can’t believe we found it,” she said after it was located in the Millbrook area of Stalybridge. “I really didn’t think we would. I thought it would be long gone.

“It just goes to show the power of social media I guess and The Correspondent definitely helped us find it.”

The minibus was taken just yards from the Goslings’ home on Walkerwood Road in Stalybridge after it had been used to ferry goods to a foodbank centre.

Tameside East, which is operated from Holy Trinity, Stalybridge; New Life, Ashton, and St John’s, Dukinfield, is using the latter as a centre because of increased demand.

And Kirsty revealed just how much the bus is used.

“Three churches run the foodbank but for the time being, it’s all being run from Dukinfield,” she added.

“All day on the Saturday, we were using the bus to take goods from suppliers to the distribution centre.

“We didn’t use it on Easter Sunday but when my husband went to the end of the road on the Monday to get it, it was gone.

“The bus is also used by many community groups, organisations like the Scouts but it’s main use has been to assist with the foodbank.

“Because of the damage, it will have to be repaired and cannot be driven until it is but it’s a massive relief to have it back.”

The theft of the minibus was reported to Greater Manchester Police and after it was located, a team went out to meet Stuart.

However, thankfully the vehicle will be back on the streets sooner rather than later.

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