The tireless work of one man has brought joy to dozens of Swindon families this Christmas after he gave away over 100 free bikes.

Matt Jones is now into the fourth year of a scheme that sees him appeal for donations of used bicycles before repairing and servicing them to ensure they are safe.

The 42-year-old, from Peatmoor, then holds a free bike open day at a unit in Bizspace, Cheney Manor Industrial Estate, where those in need can collect a bike for free ahead of Christmas.

This year Matt managed to collect around 115 second-hand bikes and had already given away 106 by the afternoon of Sunday, December 17, just hours into the event.

He told the Adver: “I advertised to open at 9am and there were people here waiting at 8.40am, so the first hour was really busy.

“There was an influx of people flying in and taking what they needed… it’s into its fourth year now and there has been growing interest every year.”

Swindon Advertiser: The remaining bikes on Sunday afternoonThe remaining bikes on Sunday afternoon (Image: Newsquest)

The scheme was initially set up to help out frontline workers during lockdown but has since morphed into a project to help families that may be struggling over Christmas.

Matt added: “There are always people struggling over Christmas and I thought, ‘why can’t I help?’

“That’s all it is really, I don’t want any accolades, it’s just to help people out.

“It’s nice to see the children walk away with the bikes happy and smiling, I’ve had a couple of parents crying because it’s a big deal for them and a couple of hugs as well, so it is nice to see.”

Matt, who owns the Run and Repair bike workshop just down the hall from the open day unit, has been appealing for bikes since September.

The donations range from well-used to untouched bicycles bought over lockdown and rarely ridden.

Swindon Advertiser:

While he has put hours into storing them and making sure they're in good condition, he has also put the success of the scheme down to the generosity of the community.

He added: “It is a lot of work, they all get serviced, cleaned and repaired if they need to be, but I start in October and do have the time to do it.

“It’s really nice because the scheme wouldn’t work without donations from the public, so I’m always thankful to them otherwise I’d be stuck.”