We all remember when we got our very first bike. Now a cycle firm boss has started collecting donated children’s cycles so he can help disadvantaged youngsters.
Matt Jones, has started a new scheme to refurbish secondhand children’s bikes so he can pass them on to needy families this Christmas.
This follows a bike amnesty for NHS workers which began in May, helping medical staff get to work at the height of the pandemic.
“The idea for the schemes really just came from not having any work myself, and then with the pandemic hitting everyone,” said Matt who started Run and Repair in 2018 when he wanted a career change from the construction industry.
“Since starting the business, I haven’t had much luck – having to give up my previous workshop, due to a lack of work and overheads being too much for me. I was sat at home and the idea just came to me,” he said.
Between 100 and 125 bikes were donated as part of the NHS bike amnesty, and 85 have so far been passed on to NHS workers and key workers.
“The NHS scheme had a crazy response,” he said. “I really didn’t expect quite that response. And this is still ongoing for the time being. Especially with another lockdown imminent,” he added.
The cycling enthusiast will now take donations of unused or outgrown children’s bicycles, service them, and make sure they are roadworthy.
He will then pass them on to families who may be struggling to be able to buy a bicycle for their children this Christmas .
Matt said: “The scheme is just open to all who feel they are not in a position to afford a bike. I don’t want families having to prove they cannot afford a bike or having to show me some evidence.
So far 25 bicycles have been donated and four have already been passed on to underprivileged families.
Matt said that when he started the scheme, he didn’t really think about how important being able to have a bike for Christmas might be for the children who receive them.
He said: “I just think, if I am able to contribute to helping someone be happy over the Christmas period, being able to exercise or get to work with the NHS amnesty, then both schemes have been positive.
“I would love to see more people take cycling up and use cars less. The previous lockdown, despite being horrible for a lot of people, was great to see so many people cycling and just outside exercising.”
To donate or collect a bike for either scheme contact Matt through facebook.com/runandrepair/