Group of people smiling with bike

Margaret Gregory is putting her passion for fixing things into a bike-recycling scheme which is helping raise thousands of pounds for us.

Margaret, 79, is one of a team of mechanical wizards involved in the scheme which was started in 2019, by volunteer “Pushbike Paul” Wilcox. 

Margaret – who used to repair lorries and trucks during a three-year spell in the Territorial Army – up-cycles donated cycles before they’re sold on to raise money for us and other local charities.

Tinkering with bikes since age nine

Margaret has been tinkering with bikes since she was nine.

“I was raising money for churches in Breaston and Draycott. A friend, Andy, who recycles everything in sight, used to bring me bikes to do up and I would sell them for the church.

“Sometimes there were specialist ones I didn’t have tools for, and so Paul came and did some repairs for me. It was around the time when Covid started that Paul really launched the bike recycling scheme and it just took off from there.” 

Over 2,000 bikes since the scheme began

Margaret estimates she has worked on just over 2,000 bikes since the scheme began.  She has around 16 bikes in her garden workshop at any one time which she is working on. She then sells them to families and bike dealers, passing on the proceeds.

When I was a kid, my father couldn’t mend a puncture, so I had to start looking up mending all my own punctures and that’s when the bike repairs started,”

Margaret has worked on all sorts of different bikes for the recycling scheme, from classic 1950s BSA and Raleigh bikes, to modern high-end Whyte Bikes. While the more run-of-the-mill bikes are sold from Margaret’s garden, she puts the expensive makes through Bamfords Auctioneers and says she always has around two there waiting for auction. 

Fundraising is something you learn to do. I love wheeling and dealing, I love making the money and giving it away. I don’t have a serious philosophy about it I just think giving is part of human nature and if you can do it and enjoy it, great.

Adela Appleby, our Head of Community Relationships, explained the impact of the hugely successful bike recycling scheme:

“With every bike recycled and sold, Margaret and the team are helping us to care for terminally ill patients and their families in the local community.

“Their support makes such a big difference and we want to thank them all very much.”