Difficult times often seem to bring out the best in the community. Matt Jones, who runs local bike repair business ‘Run & Repair’, has been going above and beyond to help people get from A to B this year, amid the difficult challenges brought about by the pandemic.
Since April, Matt has single-handedly received, repaired, and donated over 70 bikes to NHS and key workers in the town. Matt started the scheme during lockdown as he wanted to do something to support people fulfilling important roles for their communities.
Most of the beneficiaries of the scheme have been women, who are under-represented in cycling, and many of whom had not cycled for years. Donna Drury, a key worker at the Great Western Hospital, has been one of the people who has benefitted from this scheme.
Donna said: ‘When the Covid situation started we were all so scared and unsure about how to deal with it. I don’t drive and it was a 40 minute bus journey to work.
‘Then came Matt with his offer of a free bike to help NHS workers. I was overwhelmed by his kindness. The bike truly did help me so much, not only getting to work, but helping to get me fitter too.
‘The time and dedication he put into the scheme was incredible. He has made such a difference to everyone he has helped, and I’m forever grateful.’
Not content to rest on his laurels, Matt is now launching a Christmas Children’s bike amnesty. He is looking for donations of pre-loved children’s bikes in good condition to be repaired ready to gift to children from families who have been hit hard this year.
So, if you have any pre-loved children’s bikes that you would like to donate to the scheme please get in touch with Matt. Drop off locations are in Peatmoor and Greenbridge of Swindon.