A GROUP of youngsters in Middlewich are safer on their paper rounds thanks to new cycle helmets and high visibility jackets donated in memory of one of their friends.

Sixteen paperboys and girls, who work for Chisholm newsagents, were given the new safety gear and lights for their bikes thanks to Barclays and Halfords.

They will wear them in memory of teenager Sam Nutsford, who died after the bike he was riding was in collision with a car earlier this year.

The 15-year-old pupil at Middlewich High School was riding his bike along King Street on August 12 when he was in collision with a silver Vauxhall Insignia and he died at the scene as a result of his injuries.

Sam’s death affected everyone who knew him. Andrew Cann, vice chairman of Middlewich Town FC, where the youngster played for the under 16s team, said his coach thought ‘very highly of him, not only as a footballer but also as a person’ and hundreds of messages were posted on social media sites in tribute.

Some of Sam’s classmates have paper rounds with Chisholm newsagents and thanks to the generosity of Barclays – which provided £450 – and Halfords – which made sure the budget covered safety gear for each of the paper boys and girls – they are now safer on the streets when they deliver their customers’ newspapers.

Debbie Chisholm, owner of the newsagents on Wheelock Street, said: “Some of our paperboys went to school with Sam and we are always worried about them on their bikes, especially at 6am and 7am when it’s still so dark.

“We’re very happy that they will be safe when they are cycling and wearing their helmets, and visibility is now much better, thanks to the jackets and the bike lights.”

Mark Wakefield, a lending credit specialist at Barclays, said: “In light of teenager Sam Nutsford, who sadly lost his life in an accident while he was on his bike, Barclays has decided to donate cycling equipment to the paperboys and girls to help keep them safe on these dark, wintery mornings.”