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Paul's bicycle recycle leads to riches

PUBLISHED: 11:30 19 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:27 14 July 2010

Garage owner Paul Riches was deluged with second hand bikes after an appeal in the Mercury last year.

He repairs and sells the pedal cycles to raise cash for Quidenham Children's Hospice, and has made almost £2,000 for the charity since the article was published in July.

GARAGE owner Paul Riches was deluged with secondhand bikes after an appeal in the Mercury last year.

He repairs and sells the pedal cycles to raise cash for Quidenham Children's Hospice, and has made almost £2,000 for the charity since the article was published in July.

"I got bikes coming in from all over the area including Harleston, Thetford and Cromer. I prefer them in as good condition as possible, and sometimes they just need a clean, but I wouldn't turn away wrecks.

"It doesn't really matter, as if I can't use them I then give them to Wayland Prison where they are refurbished and sent to Africa and European countries where people need transport," he explained.

Mr Riches, of Bracon Ash Garage, also has links with the Breckland special Olympics cycling group who are particularly keen to locate unwanted three-wheelers.

"A lot of their work is physiotherapy. They teach people how to ride a bike which gives them something to look forward to," he said.

His recycling initiative won recognition last year when he was a runner-up in the Norfolk Waste Partnership Awards, and his efforts were "highly commended".

Now, he is appealing for more secondhand bikes to do up, so he can keep the money rolling in for Quidenham - one of three centres run by Each (East Anglia's Children's Hospices).

David Went, the charity's community fundraiser for Norfolk, said: "We are absolutely delighted with how Paul has helped us in the past and are more than grateful for his continued support. It's fantastic to have someone who is helping us and the environment at the same time.

"I don't think there are many charities who have their own clean, green, fundraising machine!"

Anyone wishing to donate a bicycle can contact Mr Riches on 01508 570642.

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