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Simon Gifford's story was broadcast on BBC Radio Wiltshire after thieves took drills, hammers and his entire toolbox from the shed he built single-handedly by looking up instructions on the internet. Simon was "overwhelmed" by the local people's generosity when they offered to replace the stolen items.

Simon, who lives in a care home in Trowbridge, said he was "devastated" when he discovered his tools had been taken because the allotment was his life.

He had already started to build a second shed there.

"The shed and my tools meant a lot to me, they were very special," he said. Asked in a radio interview what he would say to the thieves, he said simply: "Bring them back. Why have you taken them? What do I do without my tools?"

After BBC presenter Ian Longdon broadcast his plight, and tweeted the story, calls, texts and tweets flooded the radio station - with local people offering him replacement tools including drills and hammers.

One of the callers, Richard, aged 90, from Chippenham, said: "I was a scientist, working with my brain, and I found woodwork very relaxing. I have built furniture and toys for children and my tools have been very important to me. But I am passed it and I can't use them. I have everything here you can think of. They are wasted here, and I want to pass them on."

He urged Simon to turn up with a "shopping list" of what he wanted. Another caller Gordon from Trowbridge also offered a range of tools.

Simon said: "I'm really happy and a bit emotional."

Yasmin Bonnick, Priory Adult Care team leader and one of Simon's carers, said: "When Simon built his shed, we were very, very proud of him. Being at the allotment is very important to Simon. Without his tools, we tried to get him to do other things but he wasn't really interested in anything else."

Teresa Hibbs, Service Manager in Trowbridge, said: "Simon has an allotment and over the last two years has been working really hard at building himself a shed completely from scratch. He's never done any woodwork classes or anything. He has been teaching himself and learning along the way.

"Simon saves his money hard every week and puts it towards this project, buying wood and tools. Last week the shed was broken into and all of the tools he bought were stolen. The police said there wasn't anything they could do.

"Simon called the radio because he wanted to ask the people who stole the tools to return them. It had caused him a lot of upset. He, and we, are absolutely thrilled with the generosity of BBC Radio Wiltshire and its listeners and just so grateful. This has restored Simon's faith in other people and in himself and in this good weather, he will be out again with his tools this weekend."

For more information on the specialist services Priory Adult Care can offer, please call the enquiries and referrals team on 0808 208 2147 or click here to make an enquiry.