A bike recycling scheme run by volunteers has now raised over £100,000 for local charities across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
The innovative scheme, which started in late 2018, is the brainchild of Treetops Hospice volunteer, Paul Wilcox, affectionately known as ‘Pushbike Paul’.
Paul, 67, from Breaston, and a team of volunteers, collect donated bikes from the local area, then sell them in return for a donation.
Since the scheme began, thousands of bikes have been restored with proceeds going to local charities including Treetops Hospice, the Rotary Club of Long Eaton, the Step by Step Project for people with dementia and St John’s Food Bank. Some bikes have also been donated to local causes such as women’s refuges and Ukrainian refugees.
Paul is a life-long bike enthusiast as he explained:
“From being a child, I have always been interested in how bikes work and was often rescuing old bikes to renovate. Needs must in those days as you couldn’t afford to buy new! The challenge remains to restore any unwanted bikes and give them a new home.
“We receive a whole range of donations and some of which we thought were scrap, have turned out to be very collectable.
A huge range of bikes, for children and adults, have passed through the scheme from classic 1950s BSA and Raleigh bikes, to modern high-end Whyte Bikes and even an adult Pashley trike.
“Some of the bikes need far too much work to tackle but nothing goes to waste. Parts are stripped and saved for repairs, and any remnants weighed in for scrap.
“We have a great team of volunteers which keeps everything running. My wife, Pauline, has been a volunteer at Treetops for over ten years and she helps with the admin, which can be pretty time consuming.
“Our close friend Margaret Gregory deals with all the sales, which are done via Facebook Marketplace. It’s no mean feat for someone well into her late 70s – she is often dealing with sales, repairing and cleaning bikes and so on, late into the evening!
“David, a neighbour, helps me with the mechanical refurbishment. Another friend, Sam, recognises if bikes are worth more for their spare parts and sells the more specialised bikes on eBay.”
Paul, who received a Derbyshire Beacon of Hope Award in recognition of his incredible fundraising efforts, is staggered with the success of the scheme:
“Raising over £100,000 is way beyond anything we anticipated in the early days of the scheme.
“We get to meet so many lovely people who are happy that either their old bike, or their donation, is going to such worthwhile causes.”
Treetops Hospice have received over £60,000 from hugely successful scheme. Adela Appleby, Treetops Head of Community Relationships, explained the impact of the for the hospice:
“With every bike recycled and sold, 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 cannot thank them enough. We’re delighted they’ve reached this wonderful milestone!”
The bike recycling scheme accepts bikes and trikes of any age, condition and size, and local collection is available. To donate a bike, please email details to Paul at email@example.com
About Treetops Hospice
Treetops Hospice, the leading end-of-life care charity in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, provides nursing care and emotional support for adults with life-limiting conditions, and their families.
The charity provides support from diagnosis onwards for patients with conditions such as cancer, motor neurone disease and heart and respiratory conditions.
Founded in 1983, Treetops supports thousands of local people – and their families – through the most difficult time of their lives. Last year, our team of Hospice at Home nurses provided over 34,000 hours of care to terminally-ill patients, working day and night to give much-needed support.
We have a team of bereavement counsellors who provide over 4,000 counselling sessions – over 900 of them to children and young people. Wellbeing team members provide valuable information and support to those who need it, while our experts in end-of life care and bereavement support dedicate many hours to training NHS staff about death and dying.
Treetops are lucky to have over 450 amazing volunteers who help to keep the hospice running smoothly.
It costs £4.2m each year to run the hospice. A counselling session for a bereaved child costs £34. An overnight Hospice at Home nursing shift for a patient at the end of life costs £108.
Treetops is doing all it can to continue to support those in most need and welcomes donations to ensure the future of the hospice and its services: www.treetopshospice.org.uk/donate
Treetops Hospice, Derby Road, Risley, Derbyshire, DE72 3SS
0115 949 1264 | www.treetopshospice.org.uk
Registered Charity Number 519540